When DeMarcus Cousins signed with the Warriors as a free agent on July 2nd, there was an outpouring of outrage among the masses, especially in the Twitterverse. Rightfully, so. An All-NBA center packed his bags from New Orleans to join the back-to-back NBA champion Golden State Warriors, which already boasts a plethora of star ammunition in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.
However, Cousins only signed a mid-level exception contract for $5.3 million.
The reason being?
He is still recovering from an Achilles injury he had in late January.
With the several stars on the Warriors, it gives Cousins the proper amount of time to make a full recovery.
Although he will be on the mend, Cousins coming back should give the Warriors a huge reason to play with a piqued interest during the regular season. The past couple of seasons, in particular, this past season, the Warriors cruised through the regular season earning the second seed in the Western Conference.
Having Cousins on the roster and knowing that he will come back this season, according to Warriors general manager, Bob Myers should excite and motivate the Warriors players even more.
Playing with a center, who can drive the ball to the basket, post up with regularity, pass out of a double-team or out of the high post and shoot a long-range shot will help motivate the other players on the team to elevate their games until Cousins comes back healthy.
Quite simply, during this dynastic run for the Warriors, the one weak spot opposing teams could exploit was at the center position. Those concerns the Warriors brass had were put to rest when Cousins signed with the Warriors this summer. They have not had a consistent back-to-the-basket center to help unload some of the pressure on Curry, Thompson, and Durant on cold shooting nights.
What’s a possible solution to make sure flameouts from their elite marksmen do not occur as often?
Sign an all-world center in DeMarcus Cousins.
Although Cousins might be a one-year rental, he is worth the motivation to play well before he returns. This might force coach Steve Kerr to put Green at center more times than not. Without Cousins, the center position is looking more youthful without veterans JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachulia on the roster. Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell should take the bulk of the center minutes, with Green sliding into that position when the Warriors go to the Hampton’s 5 lineup.
Now, when Cousins comes back from his recovery process, he will be able to take some of the minutes from Green, who will be able to slide back to his position at power forward. This will give the Warriors another dynamic when they choose to run a Curry-Cousins pick-and-roll, which will surely be devastating to opponents.
The Warriors will be without their shiny new free agent signing for the first few months of the season and if they’re able to show signs of interest in competing during the regular season, then integrating DeMarcus Cousins into the starting lineup should be all of the motivation at charging toward a third championship in a row.