While much of the focus for the Golden State Warriors involves the contract decisions for Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins is also a free agent.
Per ESPN.com’s Nick Friedell, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr believes “there’s a chance” Cousins could return for a second season:
“I would say the hope is frankly that he can do a lot better financially than what we could offer him. But who knows? Every year is different. There are a lot more teams with cap room this summer than last summer. This summer’s going to be a wild free-agent market, and we have to figure out our own situation, particularly with Klay and Kevin and how all that shakes out. But I could absolutely foresee a place for DeMarcus here if he wanted to come back. It’s just a question of what are his goals? What’s out there for him?”
Cousins’ first season with the Warriors featured more lows than highs, but there were still flashes of greatness.
After missing Golden State’s first 45 games rehabbing from a ruptured Achilles suffered in January 2018 while with the New Orleans Pelicans, Cousins had 14 points, went 3-of-4 from three and grabbed six rebounds in just 15 minutes before fouling out in his season debut Jan. 18.
Unfortunately, Cousins tore his left quad in Game 2 in the first round against the Los Angeles Clippers -an injury that was supposed to keep him sidelined for the remainder of the postseason.
However, he rehabbed quicker than expected and gamely played all six games of the NBA Finals. His most important performance of the season came in Game 5 against the Toronto Raptors, where he chipped in 14 points off the bench after Durant ruptured his Achilles.
ESPN’s BrianWindhorstreported on Friday’s episode of that both Durant and Thompson will receive five-year max contract offers from the Warriors.
Golden State signed Cousins to the mid-level exception worth $5.3 million for one year last summer because he was coming off a serious injury, and you could argue he’s still not close to 100 percent health-wise now.
In 30 regular-season games with the Warriors, Cousins averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals in just 25.7 minutes per game. He shot 48 percent from the field but just 27.4 percent from three.
There will certainly be a market for him, but he may need to take another discount if he wants to stay with the Warriors.