While majority of the headlines since Sunday were about LeBron James and his move to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Golden State Warriors are making their own headlines now after reportedly agreeing to a deal with the Best Big Man in the NBA, free agent DeMarcus Cousins.
James signed a four-year deal with the Lakers, making them go from a 35-47 team to having the joint-second best odds of winning a championship next season, and with plans for Kawhi Leonard to join, many believe the Los Angeles franchise will become the new super team to challenge the Warriors.
However, the Bay Area side, -110 favorites to complete a three-peat next season, have just seen their odds improve further to -150 as ESPN sources reported Monday that they’ve agreed a one-year, $5.3 million deal with Cousins.
Warriors star guard Stephen Curry even welcomed the 27-year-old on Twitter.
The 3rd splash Brother . Let’s go @boogiecousins
As the best center in the league, Cousins will replace the Lakers-bound Javale McGee in what is a significant upgrade that will see the Warriors now potentially boast five All-Stars in their starting lineup — something not done since the Boston Celtics did it during the 1975-76 season
The fact is, however, that it was actually Durant who helped pave the way for the Cousins deal to happen. The 29-year-old opted out of his Warriors contract this summer, but only to re-sign on a new one-plus-one deal which will pay him $30 million next season with another player option afterward.
By signing a one-plus-one deal instead of a max deal, Durant will not only be eligible for a supermax deal next year, which allows the Warriors to exceed the salary cap to retain his services thereon after, but it also saved the franchise over $5 million in tax money. In turn, the Warriors were able to use their $5.3 million midlevel exception to sign Cousins.
Yahoo! adds that the recruitment process for Cousins was led by Warriors forward Draymond Green, Durant and general manager Bob Myers. ESPN reported that the two choices for Cousins were the Warriors or the Celtics, but Yahoo! states an agreement was developed “fairly quickly” after a few phone conversations Monday.
DeMarcus Amir Cousins is an American professional basketball player who last played for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nicknamed “Boogie”, he played college basketball for the University of Kentucky, where he was an All-American in 2010. He left Kentucky after one season, and was selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings. In his first season with the Kings, Cousins was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, and from 2015 to 2018, he was named an NBA All-Star. He is also a two-time gold medal winner as a member of the United States national team, winning his first in 2014 at the FIBA Basketball World Cup and his second in 2016 at the Rio Olympics.
Cousins attended LeFlore Magnet High School in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. He was a first-team Parade All-American in 2009, and played in the 2009 McDonald’s All-American Boys Game, finishing with 14 points and 8 rebounds. Cousins also played in the 2009 Nike Hoop Summit at the Rose Garden in Portland and the Jordan Brand Classic at Madison Square Garden where he scored 10 points for the black team. Cousins led LeFlore to the Alabama class 6A Final Four against Hillcrest that beat Austin High School to progress to the state championship; falling short to future college teammate Eric Bledsoe and Parker High School.
NBA career statistics
National team career
Cousins was a member of the United States national team that won the gold medal at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. In 2016, he won his second gold medal with Team USA at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.