Golden State Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins has not played a game for his new team. But his free agency forecast is already a hot topic.
The four-time All-Star last appeared in an NBA game on January 31. He’s since spent time recovering from a ruptured left Achilles tendon and participated in a full-contact practice with the Warriors’ G League affiliate on December 10.
While it’s entirely unclear how the 28-year-old center will look when he returns to action, the expiration of his one-year deal with the defending champions will be a fascinating storyline to watch either way. Even though head coach Steve Kerr does not think it’s possible, Cousins could surprise even his own team by choosing to remain with Golden State.
As recently noted by Marc Stein, Cousins has not ruled out re-signing with the Warriors (via New York Times):
“Look for several of next summer’s major free agents — Boston’s Kyrie Irving, Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler and Golden State’s Klay Thompson — to stay put. Allow me to also pass on one of the wildest predictions I’ve heard lately, from one wise insider, who thinks even DeMarcus Cousins will consider re-upping with the Warriors for one more season despite the (comparatively) minuscule raise they can offer on Cousins’ current $5.3 million salary.”
This, indeed, would be one of the wilder twists to his compelling career. It would also be a move that would make waves across the league, especially considering Stein also predicted that both Thompson and Kevin Durant will return to the Warriors as well.
Cousins, if healthy, would solidify the frontcourt on a team that’s already stacked with superstars. It would be challenging for the Warriors to offer a compelling contract he would want to sign, but perhaps the thought of playing a key role for a team with a more-likely-than-not chance of winning the title would persuade him to sacrifice money for the ring.
As we get closer to the season, rumors about other destinations for Cousins will emerge. However, with nothing standing out thus far, maybe re-signing with Golden State is not as crazy as it initially seems.