Shams Charania: The Houston Rockets and center DeMarcus Cousins are planning to part ways in coming days, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Houston wants to go smaller, younger in frontcourt when Christian Wood returns and this allows Cousins to find an opportunity elsewhere.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Houston Rockets have guaranteed center DeMarcus Cousins' $2.3M contract for the rest of the season, sources tell ESPN. Teams have until February 27 to make that decision on non-guaranteed deals.
Jonathan Feigen: Rockets announce the signing of four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins. Per Rockets: Cousins is one of 11 players in NBA history to have career averages of 20 points, 10 rebounds and three assists since the NBA began tracking assists in 73-74.
Shams Charania: Cousins will sign a one-year, non-guaranteed deal, sources said. Houston expressed interest in signing the four-time All-Star before the NBA restart in July. Cousins serves as an upside signing, and has shown focus and drive in rehab through multiple long-term injuries.
Marc J. Spears: The Rockets showed interest in DeMarcus Cousins since the beginning of free agency. The free agent big man signs a one-year contract, Cousins confirms to @TheUndefeated.
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: Former All-Star DeMarcus Cousins worked out for the Houston Rockets today and impressed the organization, quelling any health concerns. He’s as hungry as ever.
Shams Charania: Free agent DeMarcus Cousins and the Houston Rockets are nearing a deal, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Kelly Iko: In addition to Christian Wood, the Rockets spoke with Demarcus Cousins’ camp earlier today, a source told @TheAthletic. Houston is exploring the big man market.
As far as replenishing the lost depth, James is a powerful recruiter. The Lakers could revisit DeMarcus Cousins, former James teammates like Tristan Thompson (also a Klutch client) and Kyle Korver and/or a versatile defender like Maurice Harkless.
Cousins could have an opportunity to officially be part of an NBA team again this week. He has not ruled out signing with a team to finish out the season in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Fla., according to his agent, Jeff Schwartz. But it would have to be a situation in which he feels comfortable to play rather than continue his rehab.
Shams Charania: Sources: Multiple teams have expressed interest in DeMarcus Cousins but have been told the four-time All-Star will sit out the resumed season and continue rehab for full return in 2020-21.
With Davis Bertans opting out of the NBA's restart, the Washington Wizards are allowed to sign a replacement player before they head to Orlando, and they plan to do just that, NBC Sports Washington has learned. That player would be "for the short-term," according to a person familiar with their plans. And, partly because of that, they can definitively rule out center DeMarcus Cousins.
The Wizards are thinking in the immediate future and who could help them go for the playoffs when they arrive at Disney World with eight regular season games offered in the NBA's return-to-play plan. But that does not mean they are trying to replace Bertans specifically. What he does is unique, especially given his size. They could sign a different type of player and search for three-point shooting in other areas of their roster.
Wall spoke on the matter Wednesday in an Instagram Live interview with ESPN's The Undefeated. He told Marc Spears he is still lobbying for the Wizards to sign Cousins, though after years of doing so, he seems to understand full well it is probably still a pipe dream. "Oh man, you know I'm trying to push for that. I've been on that for like five years. I want to sign him right now," Wall said.
By the time the NBA returns in late July, Cousins will be less than a year removed from a very serious injury. So, it probably wouldn't be smart for Cousins to return until next year, and Wall even said that himself. "I'm like 'bro, be smart, take your time to get all the way healthy so you can show these people what you're all about,'" Wall said. "I want him to focus on that and get back to the Boogie that he was."
A common mistake is to assume that since the Lakers cut Cousins this season, they won't be able to re-sign him. That's simply not the case. If rosters expand to 17 players (or if they stay at 15 and the team makes a cut), L.A. could certainly bring Cousins back for the stretch run. Perhaps the confusion is a similar rule. Had Los Angeles traded Cousins to another team and that franchise then chose to release him, the Lakers would be barred from bringing the center back as a free agent this season.
So is he a possibility for the Lakers? "Maybe," one Western Conference executive said. A former executive said of Cousins and the Lakers, "That's the only team. He respects [LeBron James], and he's [Anthony Davis'] boy. [Other teams] don't want that distraction. There's a small window of time to play, and you can't let up."
Another team that might want to consider Cousins would be the Los Angeles Clippers. They still have Joakim Noah on an unfortunately named 10-day contract that dates back to March 9. With the NBA freezing rosters a few days later, Noah is still on that same temporary contract. If he can earn his keep, he would give the Clippers a defensive-minded option inside, which may be more valuable than what Cousins might bring as a scoring big man.
When we last left the Lakers, Cousins -- signed last summer and subsequently lost for the season with a blown knee -- had been waived to make room for forward Markieff Morris. There is speculation the league may allow expanded playoff rosters in the bubble -- perhaps carrying 17-20 players -- in order to have more reserves available should a rash of COVID-19 cases hit. With the extra time off to rehab, combined with potential expanded rosters, will Cousins make his return to L.A.? The former All-Star center would give the Lakers the stretch 5 they missed most of the season and, with crowd noise a nonfactor in Orlando's empty arenas, he could certainly have an impact as a vocal bench presence.
ESPN’s NBA insider Brian Windhorst, on his recent podcast, expressed his thoughts what the offseason will most likely bring to big name free-agent DeMarcus Cousins. “I think DeMarcus Cousins is looking at a make good contract, even if it’s more than a minimum. I think that after a series of injuries he’s had, all of which indicates that he’s coming back too fast, doing too much, he needs even more time of coming back from this. He’s gonna have a job in the league, but I don’t think it’s gonna be a big money,” the NBA insider said.
For Heat fans wondering about DeMarcus Cousins, who was released by the Lakers this week to make room for Markieff Morris, keep in mind that even though the Heat likes Cousins and pursued him last summer, there’s no indication he’s looking to leave Southern California. Cousins, who hasn’t played this season because of a torn ACL in his left knee sustained last August, continued rehabbing with the Lakers at their facility on Tuesday, and there’s nothing to preclude the Lakers from signing him before the playoffs if he’s healthy.
Well, Cousins won’t be able to do that anymore. Per league rules, he can continue his rehab with the Lakers, at their practice facility, but he can’t fly on the team plane or sit on the bench once he’s waived. But the Lakers could re-sign him this summer, something both sides have expressed interest in pursuing, sources said.
Dave McMenamin: The Lakers make the Morris addition official. DeMarcus Cousins is waived to create the roster spot. pic.twitter.com/9KLvOPgr8t
Eddie Sefko: Asked Mark Cuban if he thought anybody would kick the tires on DeMarcus Cousins and he said Mavs would have been interested “but we don’t have a roster spot and we don’t have anybody we want to let go.”
ShowtimeForum: "I'm told DeMarcus Cousins plans to remain with the Lakers for the remainder of the season to continue rehabbing his torn ACL." Via: @Shams Charania | #Lakeshow
Kyle Goon: Alex Caruso on reports about DeMarcus Cousins and handling them: " It’s the ground that comes with playing in L.A. So to be honest, it’s just every day. It’s just kind of a normal day where something comes out or you hear something. That’s kind of the NBA nowadays."
Melissa Rohlin: Alex Caruso on Cousins: "DeMarcus has been here rehabbing and been a great member of this team behind the scenes that nobody gets to see because the only thing he can do is be a good teammate and travel, and show up to every game and have a good attitude. And he’s done that."
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: DeMarcus Cousins was informed yesterday by the Lakers that he would be waived. He plans to continue rehabbing ACL injury into the offseason.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Lakers are waiving DeMarcus Cousins, league sources tell @Ramonashelburne and me.
Bobby Marks: DeMarcus Cousins will likely not be waived until Sunday night after Markieff Morris clears waivers. He has roughly $1M left on his $3.5M contract. A claiming team would have non-bird rights and could offer him a contract up to $4.2M (or midlevel exception/cap space) as a FA.
The answer could be cutting Cousins outright. In addition to his injury, TMZ reported in August the four-time All-Star was allegedly recorded threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend. Police in Mobile, Alabama, issued an arrest warrant for Cousins with a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence, per the New York Times. The team and NBA are investigating. The initial plan was to keep the injured big man under contract for as long as possible, perhaps using his salary in trade later in the year (after December 15), but releasing him was always on the table should the team find the opportunity to replace him with a player who will further L.A.'s title chances. Cousins, if cut, could rehab with the team (with the NBA's permission). Perhaps the domestic allegations will cause the Lakers to seek distance and cut him outright, but that's still unknown.
The Los Angeles Lakers have signed Quinn Cook, DeMarcus Cousins, and Danny Green, it was announced today by General Manager Rob Pelinka.
Candace Buckner: I’m hearing that #Wizards interim president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard spoke briefly with free agent DeMarcus Cousins recently in Las Vegas. The conversation was described as just small talk but still — a very interesting development.
But as he still remains available, Cousins reportedly has been in contact with star players of other teams. "I'm told he's had direct communication with some star players of other teams, one being DeMar DeRozan of the Spurs," The Athletic's Shams Charania said Tuesday.
During an interview with NBA TV, The Athletic's Shams Charania spoke on why Cousins is still without a team. He then said Cousins has been in contact with several players including DeRozan. "There are several teams that are intrigued by DeMarcus Cousins." "I'm told he has had direct communication with several star players from other teams. One being DeMar DeRozan of the Spurs."
Mike Fisher: SOURCES: #Mavs do not plan bid on Boogie Cousins in Free Agency 247sports.com/nba/mavericks/…
However, it appears teams are thinking twice in signing him after he also went down with an injury during their 2019 NBA Playoffs campaign, raising question marks about his health. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN recently revealed that the market is not looking good for the All-Star center. “There’s not a market for him,” Wojnarowski said of Cousins. ” I think he hoped that some big market teams would strike out, they’d have cap space and he could get a one-year, $12M, $15M, $18M, $20 million deal. That’s not happening. The mid-level exception he got in Golden State last year? I don’t think that’s there.”
DeMarcus Cousins sat at his locker inside Oracle Arena after the Golden State Warriors lost the 2019 NBA Finals and contemplated his uncertain future. While the four-time All-Star enjoyed his lone season with the Warriors, getting paid this summer will likely mean finding a new team. “I don’t know. I’m open-minded. We will see what happens,” Cousins told The Undefeated about the possibility of returning to Golden State.
Seven NBA teams have expressed interest of varying levels in Cousins, according to a source. The New York Knicks have serious interest in Cousins, a source said. The Los Angeles Clippers are also intrigued, a source said. Both teams have significant cap space.
According to the New York Times, the Knicks have mulled a one-year max offer for center DeMarcus Cousins, but an NBA source said the interest is mild. According to a source, team president Steve Mills wants players who fit the bill of being able to tutor their young players.
League sources confirmed to SNY that the Knicks are also considering making a significant short-term offer to DeMarcus Cousins. But some in the organization have said that going after younger players like Randle and Portis is a priority that's ahead of pursuing Cousins, who will be 29 at the beginning of next season.
Marc Stein: The Knicks are weighing the prospect of extending a considerable one-year offer to Warriors free-agent big man DeMarcus Cousins if they miss out on top target Kevin Durant, league sources say
Other free agents on the Knicks’ radar include their own free-agent center DeAndre Jordan, Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins and twins Markieff and Marcus Morris. New Orleans Pelicans forward Julius Randle and the Knicks also have mutual interest, according to sources.
And Cousins would never be more needed. Fresh, you’d assume, off a summer to get his body in a better place, Cousins would step into a much higher usage role if he returned, no longer ceding shots to Thompson and Durant. That could be appealing to both sides. “I’m open,” Cousins said. “I could absolutely foresee a place for DeMarcus here, if he wanted to come back,” Kerr said. “But it’s about his goals, what’s out there for him.”
Once Cousins becomes a free agent this summer, though, he suggested he may want to ride this roller coaster again. “I’m open,” Cousins said. “We’ll see what happens.”
The Warriors have never expected to re-sign Cousins simply because they could only pay him about $6.3 million because of salary cup rules. While the verdict is out on Cousins’ market value, it is likely the Warriors might be priced about. Then again…. “It was a weird summer last summer. So you never know how things work out,” Cousins said. “I’m open and I’ll make the best decision for myself and my family. We’ll see which way the wind blows.”
What did Cousins learn? He did not share specifics other than he learned more about his himself, his craft, the Warriors organization and how the business operates. Cousins hoped the general public learned a few things about him, though. “I’m a team guy. I can sacrifice and do what’s best for the team. I control the things I can control. Ill be ready when my name is called upon,” Cousins said. “This is what I’ve always wanted. I’m grateful to be able to say I got to be in this moment. It was a lot of fun. This atmosphere is incredible. I look forward to being in it again whatever that may be. I really enjoyed it.”
Shaun Livingston, meanwhile, is openly contemplating retirement at 33. Andrew Bogut, 34, is headed back to the Sydney Kings of Australia’s National Basketball League. DeMarcus Cousins is headed for free agency, too, but is widely considered unlikely to return.
Anthony Slater: Could DeMarcus Cousins return to the Warriors next season? “I’m open (to it)” pic.twitter.com/CIyn0VK1HZ
Joe Lacob: My great hope is that Klay, as with Draymond and – frankly – KD; all of them who are guys that you’re referring to. …And frankly, I love DeMarcus Cousins too. I mean, he’s another guy who (he’d like to keep). (But) we can only do what we can do within the framework of the collective bargaining agreement. We really like our players – each and every one of them. Draymond has been with us since the beginning. There’s a certain place in my heart for him. Same with Klay. And all I was trying to say by that is that I really personally like them a lot for what they bring to the table. That’s a personal comment, and I really want to see them stay – to be Warriors for life and hopefully build statues for them.
Anthony Slater: Another playoffs spent watching his team while his left leg is immobilized, another summer of intensive rehab, another free agency where he’ll find the market depressed. An agonizing last 15 months (and next 9 or so) in DeMarcus Cousins career.
Connor Letourneau: If DeMarcus Cousins is done for the postseason, his chances of re-signing with the Warriors would go up significantly. Have to think the free-agency market for an injured Cousins would be tepid, at best.
Or it may end this summer, when Cousins, Durant and Thompson are all expected to be free agents (assuming Durant opts out of the $31.5 million last year on his contract). The players may agree to stay together or choose to seek out other challenges. The buzz from various executives, scouts and media members suggests that Durant is ready to move on. Thompson, if offered the max, will stay. If not, he too could exit. The Warriors may not be able to match market value for Cousins.
"Not many of these wings or point guards are going to want to partner with LeBron," said an assistant GM. "LeBron's best chance at getting another star with him is going to be Anthony Davis, Boogie Cousins, the bigs."
"Right now, I don't give a sh*t!" @boogiecousins talks about his impending free agency on "Posted Up" w/ @ChrisBHaynes
In the event they are relegated to pursuing second-tier free agents, ESPN’s Tim McMahon said on the “The Hoop Collective” podcast there are rumblings of DeMarcus Cousins being a possibility for the Lakers, in addition to DeAndre Jordan: “That’s definitely a rumor out there. DeAndre Jordan, too.”
I've heard rumors that Cousins might re-sign with the Warriors next year in order for them to get Bird rights so he can get bigger money in 2020. What have you heard Mr. Thompson? Marcus Thompson: I've heard Cousins is really happy and that bodes well for the chances of him taking a pay cut again. Still slim, I'd say.
Nate Duncan: "For the Anthony Davis sweepstakes, Boston and Los Angeles are in there...Are there any other teams outside of those two that could realistically get in that mix?" Chris Haynes: "No team is concrete. Obviously there's some teams looking and lurking. L.A. Clippers, they're being really aggressive out there. They're looking at Kawhi Leonard. They're looking at Kevin Durant. Obviously they're monitoring the Anthony Davis situation, they're monitoring DeMarcus Cousins - seeing how he's gonna progress through the achilles injury."
Cousins was expected to sign a max extension last summer prior to the injury. He is hoping to show prospective teams that he is fully healthy in anticipation of landing a big extension this summer, all while potentially helping Golden State to a third straight title.
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.
Cousins’ doesn’t. It isn’t a secret. His time with them will be brief. The Warriors are the powerful trampoline to the payday he had ripped away by last season’s nightmare injury. Cousins is the brass knuckles under Mike Tyson’s boxing glove, the extra force they can use to bully toward a fourth title. “I honestly don’t think about (free agency),” Cousins said. “I’m focused on becoming healthy. That’s my main focus right now. After that, it’s helping this team make another run. Everything that’s going to happen in the summer, I’ll wait until the summer.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr made it clear on Thursday that the team won't have the money to re-sign center DeMarcus Cousins next summer. On Friday, his general manager wasn't so quick to shut the door. Bob Myers told Greg Papa on "Warriors Pregame Live" that he would not rule out Cousins' return to Golden State next summer.
"Options are open, Pap, like anything," Myers said Friday evening. "If you would've asked me a year ago before this if he was gonna be an option for us, I'd say, 'No way, that's crazy!' But he came. He came for a lot less than [what] his market value was. "These type of predictions -- good or bad -- are pretty fruitless because you just don't know. You don't know what's going to be going on on July 1, 2019. You don't know if it's going to be better than you think ... but it's not going to be what you think. So, with a guy like DeMarcus, who knows? If he wants to come back, let's bring him back."
Logan Murdock: Steve Kerr on DeMarcus' 1-year deal with the W's:“We made no bones about it when we signed him. This is a 1-year deal and we're not going to have money to sign him next year so we'd like to help him win a championship and sign a great contract somewhere else. That's the reality."
Can you see DeMarcus Cousins possibly returning to the New Orleans Pelicans as a free agent next offseason? Pelicans star forward Anthony Davis can. "He will be a free agent next year. Hopefully, down the line we can reconnect," Davis told ESPN's The Undefeated on Wednesday night after a 131-121 loss to the Golden State Warriors.
Davis, Gentry and Cousins had an animated discussion after the Pelicans' loss to the Warriors that Gentry said was just old friends laughing and trash-talking. "I think the world of him," Gentry said. "I think he is the best player at his position in the league." Another issue is that Cousins and Pelicans general manager Dell Demps have a relationship in need of repair and have not talked since Cousins' departure, sources said.
One of those guys that’s coming up as a free agent was a free agent this summer. Signed a one-year deal, Kevin Durant. He could have signed longer. I think I predicted he’d sign a two-year deal to get a larger number. Any concern that he only signed a one-year deal and now he’s going to hit free agency? And he might hit it pretty hard next summer. Joe Lacob: That’s a two-edged sword, right? Sure, I think we would have liked to have had him be here longer, sign a long-term deal. On the other hand, we’re happy to have him. By him signing a one-year deal, it save us a little bit of money, actually, right? So, it allows us to do some other things. Like, maybe we wouldn’t have DeMarcus Cousins, right? As an example. KD’s been great. He’s my hero, man. He’s been a really good partner for us. He’s taken a little, as you know, a little bit of a discount over the last few years that has allowed to do a few extra things. I’m never going to forget that.
Logan Murdock: DeMarcus on potentially coming off the bench: "If that's what happens and helps the team, yes." "I understand the situation that I'm in right now and I'm okay with that. I'm here to win and help win games."
The Warriors have no such expectations with Cousins. Next summer — assuming they bring back either Klay Thompson, Durant or both, which would cap them out — they can only give Cousins a 20-percent raise, which jumps him from $5.3 million to around $6.4 million. If he returns healthy and looks like even 80 percent of the player he was before last January’s Achilles tear — an outcome both the player and team desire — Cousins will command way more than that max Warriors number, likely in the high teens per year. And he won’t be in the discount mood, understandably, considering all the money he lost out on this summer.
Question: So you just got a call that morning (you signed Cousins) — can you take us through how it went down? Bob Myers: We talked, I talked to his agent Jerry (Akana) in the morning, and he said: “What are you guys trying to do?” And I said: “What are you trying to do?” From there, I was honest, I said there’s not a lot we can do. Then hearing from there they were open to (taking the mid-level exception), that was the first moment where it looked like there was a possibility it would happen. Then I talked to DeMarcus pretty early that morning. That was really just the beginning of it, just (wondering) if it was something he’d really consider. Hearing his voice, hearing his conviction, it made it real to me.
“It’s a case of the rich get richer. Boogie never reached out to us,” said one Western Conference executive. “I don’t think it was a case of anyone trying to disrespect Boogie. It was more so shock. Like this guy is really available?” He continues, “It’s great for Golden State. Great for Boogie because he gets to rehab with the best team, basically have a strong second half … and get paid next summer. Great for them … terrible for the rest of us.”
Drew Shiller: DeMarcus Cousins: “I’ll do whatever it takes to help this team win ... every player’s goal is to win a championship.”
Drew Shiller: DeMarcus Cousins: There might be games where I only get four shot attempts. There might be games where I’m the leading scorer
League sources say that Cousins rebuffed New Orleans' offer of a two-year contract extension in the $40 million range after the injury but before the season ended. When that offer was declined, sources say, New Orleans took it off the table.
Word also reached us Monday night that LeBron’s Lakers, after signing Rajon Rondo away from New Orleans and then losing Randle to the Pelicans, had an opportunity to sign Cousins at a one-year price point similar to the one that landed him in Golden State. But I’m told the Lakers passed, clearing the way for the Warriors to infuriate the basketball public yet again.
May 19, 2022 | 12:59 am EDT Update
Jones told Burns & Gambo on Wednesday that he believes Deandre Ayton will be back with the Suns next season. “Deandre had an amazing season and he’s progressed every year and improved every year,” the GM said. “He’s been here and so he’s a big part of what we do. His future with us is something we will address at the proper time which is in the future. He’s a free agent and I’ve said all along, he’s about the same things we’re about which is winning. We’ll address it at the proper time.”
On possible supermax deal for Devin Booker and rookie extension for Cam Johnson. If Booker makes All-NBA this year, he’ll be eligible for a four-year deal worth $211 million while Johnson is up for a rookie extension heading into his fourth NBA season: James Jones: “That’s a part of the business. As your team improves, typically your payroll increases. We’re focused on improving the team and those guys, they deserve the credit. They deserve the accolades and the financial rewards that come with being good players and productive players. It doesn’t preclude us from doing anything. We’re not talking about a luxury tax issues or avoiding those things. That’s not something that’s going to prevent us from continuing to build this team and keep this team together.”
“Had a great year, just one of those nights,” said O’Neal as Ayton finished in Sunday’s Game 7 against Dallas with a career playoff-low five points on 2-of-5 shooting. “Phoenix had a great year, just one of those nights. This is a classy organization. This is a classy team. Can’t say bad things about them. They played hard. Again, even great players have one of those nights.” O’Neal, and fellow TNT NBA analysts Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley discussed Ayton’s future with the Suns after the top overall seed was eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in Sunday’s Game 7 in Phoenix. “You’ve got to re-sign Ayton,” Barkley said.
“(McGee) played well, he was a great addition to the team, but it all hinges on Deandre Ayton,” Barkley said. “It’s him and Booker. They are the guys going forward. Chris is going to be 38 (years old). He’s going to get the ball to the right person, but it’s time for Booker and Ayton. You can’t have a bad game like they did. Chris, he had a tough night, but Ayton and Booker, they’ve got to play well.”
Once Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson slowed down, caught their breath and stopped rushing shots, the Splash Brothers got on a roll that proved too much for Dallas to stop. Especially because Andrew Wiggins worked end to end to make sure Luka Doncic couldn’t get going. Curry had 21 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, Golden State held Doncic in check and the Warriors beat the Mavericks 112-87 on Wednesday night for a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference finals. “Just make him work, that was the main thing,” Wiggins said.
Doncic scored 20 points but shot just 6 for 18 and 3 of 10 from deep. He made back-to-back 3-pointers late in the first half to get his team within 54-45 at the break, but Curry and Thompson heated up and helped the Warriors pull away in the second half. “A great job. That’s it,” Doncic said. “They did a great job.” Jalen Brunson scored 14 points but missed all five of his 3s for the surprising Mavs, who stunned the top-seeded Suns in a 123-90 thumping in Game 7 on Sunday in Phoenix.
“They did a really good job. Wiggins picking him up full court,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. “They went box-and-one, they went zone. We understood coming into the series that we were going to see that. We’ll go back and look at the video and see what we can do better.” Stopping Doncic, who was averaging 31.5 points in the playoffs, is the tall task this time after the Warriors already handled two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic of Denver in the first round, then Ja Morant early last series before his knee injury. “I thought Wiggs was fantastic,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Doncic is as difficult a cover as there is in this league. … It’s important to make him work. He’s so good. Any great player in the league you’re trying to limit the damage that they do.”