During the 2018 NBA offseason, the entire league was surprised when DeMarcus Cousins signed with the Golden State Warriors in free agency. The Warriors just won back-to-back NBA championship titles and having limited salary cap space, they were only expected to focus on retaining their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green and adding some complementary pieces. However, using the mid-level exception, Golden State still managed to have a massive roster upgrade by acquiring the All-Star center.
When the 2018 NBA free agency started, it was revealed that Cousins didn’t gain much interest in the open market. Earlier in the 2017-18 NBA season, Cousins’ former team, the New Orleans Pelicans, expressed their desire to give “Boogie” a max contract when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. However, the Pelicans’ plans changed when Cousins suffered a torn left Achilles.
Aside from the Pelicans, Shams Charania of the Athletic reported that the Los Angeles Lakers, who badly needed a second superstar to pair with LeBron James, also “became distant in their interest” in DeMarcus Cousins. The All-Star center admitted that he was very upset with how other NBA teams treated him during the 2018 NBA free agency.
“The people I reached out to … man, the teams I was talking to, and how they slammed the phone in my face,” Cousins said. “They all slammed the door shut on me. I wish I could share those conversations. But it’s done with. I reached out to teams with the same offer as Golden State, just to see.”
DeMarcus Cousins Rocking New Meek Mill Shoes to Support Prison Reform https://t.co/9DJ3IrJEd1
— TMZ (@TMZ) January 25, 2019
After realizing that he can’t get the type of contract that he wanted, DeMarcus Cousins decided to take matters in his own hands and called several people from the Warriors’ organization, including Bob Myers, Coach Steve Kerr, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry, to express his desire to join them. That proved to be one of the best decisions Cousins ever made in his NBA career.
Having four NBA All-Stars on their roster, the Warriors didn’t have any reason to rush DeMarcus Cousins’ return. The Warriors made sure that Cousins was 100 percent healthy before letting him enter the court. Cousins has already played his first three games as a Warrior, where they defeated the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Washington Wizards.
DeMarcus Cousins is currently under a minutes restriction and still trying to make himself fit in the Warriors’ system. However, if he remains healthy throughout the season and builds good chemistry with his teammates, Cousins will definitely make it easier for the Warriors to capture their third consecutive NBA champion title. His performance in the 2018-19 NBA season will be vital as it could determine his value once he hits the open market again next July.