Despite the speculation that DeMarcus Cousins' recent injury could affect his value in such a way that he could potentially re-sign with the Golden State Warriors this summer, there are still others who believe that he would be better off being a "one-and-done" player for the defending NBA champions and leaving the team via free agency as originally expected. These include San Francisco Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler, who wrote over the weekend that it may be better for Cousins to "boogie on down the road."
In his piece, Ostler started out with the aforementioned pun on Cousins' former nickname of "Boogie," noting how the 28-year-old former All-NBA big man recently did away with the old moniker to symbolize his "maturity and growth" after years of reports accusing him of being a disruptive locker room presence. Although Ostler feels that the Warriors' "DeMarcus Experiment" has been a success, with Cousins proving to be a good teammate and a solid contributor despite his recent injury history, he added that it may soon be time for both sides to "move on," simply because of how the Warriors "play better" without Cousins.
According to Ostler, Golden State has been playing more efficiently in the playoffs since DeMarcus Cousins went down with a quad injury during Game 2 of their first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers. With veteran Andrew Bogut starting in Cousins' place, Ostler believes that the Warriors have become "ruthlessly efficient," and that superstar forward Kevin Durant has been better for it, thanks to a strong performance in the Warriors' Game 3 win.
"That's not to say that Cousins' absence was the miracle tonic. But while the Warriors had some good moments and games with Cousins at center, it was never a match made in heaven," Ostler said.Ostler also noted that Cousins' arrival in Golden State, despite how he exceeded expectations after coming back from a serious Achilles injury he suffered midway through the 2017-18 season, might have hurt the Warriors "a little" due to the adjustment process that ultimately took place. With Cousins' recent quad injury likely taking him out for the rest of the postseason, the San Francisco Chronicle columnist added that his market value as a free agent might now be back in the $6 million range — a huge comedown from the $16 million to $18 million he could have earned if he stayed healthy and ended up leading the Warriors to a third straight championship.
"If that happens, I'm guessing they will pass. Not that they're all set at center. Bogut, Kevon Looney and (gulp!) Draymond Green could all be gone by October," Ostler predicted, adding that Cousins would be better off playing for a team that "wants and needs him" at the center position.
While DeMarcus Cousins has not frequently been mentioned as one of the top players entering free agency this summer, the Los Angeles Lakers have recently been brought up as a possible destination for the four-time NBA All-Star. According to The Mercury News, ESPN's Sean Farnham said on Thursday's edition of Get Up! that Cousins could give the Lakers some much-needed star power and a familiar face who could team up with four-time MVP LeBron James next season. This, however, was contested by fellow analyst Jalen Rose, who said that such a move would only make sense if Cousins is healthy in time for the 2019-20 season, hence his belief that he should re-sign with the Warriors.