DeMarcus Cousins is the latest villain when it comes to fan perception in the NBA. After a slow free agency period for the star center, Cousins decided to take a one-year deal with the Golden State Warriors worth just over $5 million. It was a move that some viewed as desperate and others immediately labeled him a ring chaser.
Despite all of the criticism, Cousins couldn’t be happier with his deal. Many teams didn’t give him the time of day due to the fact that he is coming off of a torn Achilles last season. Others didn’t want his attitude and antics in their locker rooms.
No matter what the reason, the NBA has those teams to blame for making this situation happen.
Last season with the Pelicans before his season-ending injury, Cousins ended up averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game, according to ESPN statistics. He shot 47.0 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 35.4 percent of his three-point attempts. Golden State was able to replace JaVale McGee with an All-Star, which makes their chances of winning a fourth title in three years extremely likely.
All of that being said, what reasons can be given to support the statement that Cousins made the right choice by signing with the Warriors?
A One Year Deal Doesn’t Lock Him in Long-Term
Fans that are freaking out about this move need to realize that Cousins made this move to prove himself on a team that will compete for a ring. It will give him a chance to play with championship caliber players, while also increasing his value for next offseason. This isn’t going to be a long-term destination for Cousins, but it is an excellent one-year stopgap for him.
There Will Be No Rush to Return from Injury
For a big man coming off of a torn Achilles, there cannot be much pressure on him to push himself back. Golden State won a championship last season without Cousins and they will not have to rush him back to the court. Steve Kerr and Cousins will have plenty of time to get to know each other until the big man is healthy and ready to roll.
Cousins’ Game Fits Perfectly in Golden State
Last, but certainly not least, Cousins is going to fit in perfectly with the stars in Golden State. He will give Kerr the kind of post presence that Golden State has needed in the past, while also being able to stretch the floor and knock down the three. Cousins may struggle a bit getting up and down the court as fast as the Warriors like to, but for the most part, his game will slide into the lineup with ease.
Expect to see Cousins reap major rewards for this one-year deal next offseason. After he proves that he is back to full health, getting a major pay raise will not be a problem.
Cousins may hear a lot about being a ring chaser throughout the season, but it will be well worth it.