The idea of the Golden State Warriors signing DeMarcus Cousins has been a joke for some time, at the very least since 2014 when he joked about being the third Splash Brother with Steph Curry (s/o to @LetsGoWarriors for reminding everyone of that).
But, I mean...it was just that — a joke. I don’t think anyone at that time or since really believed the Warriors would ever have a legitimate shot at acquiring a center like Cousins. If nothing else, the Warriors already had their own “homegrown” stars to pay and now Kevin Durant; adding a center of Cousins’ caliber just didn’t seem feasible.
And, for me, that context has to be taken into account if you are to understand my reaction to the news that Cousins joining the Warriors — similar in some sense to we all wanted Andre Iguodala before Bob Myers delivered on that dream, Cousins has been a player who Warriors fans have at least thought about on this team, even if they were joking and/or immediately dismissed it as an impossibility. When healthy, his skill set is a perfect fit and you have to hope that the championship culture led by guys like Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and (perhaps) David West would help to keep him from
We know Cousins is still rehabbing from an Achilles injury, which can be one of the most devastating injuries to a big man. We know we shouldn’t expect him to actually play until December or January. We know that this is a one-year rental.
Yet for those of us who have been fans since the 90’s, the idea that we’d ever get a center of this caliber has never been more than a fantasy. Prior to this, our list of premier post players included an injured Andrew Bogut, an inconsistent Andris Biedrins, a stone-handed Erick Dampier, and you have to go all the way back to a disgruntled Chris Webber to find a go-to post scoring threat that was anywhere near what Cousins is — we’ve got titles, but the elusive post scoring threat has defined my Warriors fandom as much as anything else.
(Shout outs to Adonal Foyle, Patrick O’Bryant, Festus Ezeli — who I quite liked, actually — and all the other post players who were drafted in the first round in an effort to find a center.)
But that’s me still just trying to put this into words while hungover from the excitement of last night. Here are the reactions from the rest of our staff (while they were still partying on Slack last night).
What was your first reaction when you heard about the Cousins deal?
Apricot: I got a tweet notification tweaking me for expecting GSW to sign O’Quinn with the MLE. I scrolled through the timeline to see what was going on and then… shock, confusion. Couldn’t believe at first that he’d take the MLE. In retrospect, it makes sense that teams might have been lowballing Boogie due to the bad injury. And what other team can afford to pay Boogie to heal all season (expected return in January)? It looks like Boston and GSW were the two suitors. My current reaction (1 hour after) remains shock and confusion.
Greg: My wife broke the news to me, and I laughed like a mad man for about 10 minutes. I thought it was a fake account that confirmed the signing. After it was confirmed by multiple sources including the players, I laughed maniacally for another 15 minutes until my stomach started to hurt.
Jannelle: Stunned. When I saw the news on Twitter, I thought it was fake. I was looking for some misspellings in Shams profile like the fake Bleacher Report accounts. After being stunned, I became curious. I’m still wondering how Bob Meyers convinced DeMarcus to take that MLE. This is just insane.
Hugo: I was flabbergasted. It’s hilarious to me.
JMak: I was awoken from a nap with a single text from my cousin reading “Boogie! Haha.” Not sure how my half-asleep mind put two and two together, but something took ahold of me as my clumsy fingers lead me into the GSoM slack channel where the news was confirmed by a bevy of messages regarding the surprising move. I then put my phone gently down and returned to the best slumber I’ve had in weeks.
Sami: I did a literal spit-take in a crowded restaurant, and I don’t care who was judging me.
Kim: I was surprised by the fact he would take the MLE but not surprised at all that he wanted to join the team. When I watched the most recent summer Olympics, it was obvious that Draymond and DeMarcus had great chemistry and I remember thinking to myself, “I wonder if someday Boogie will become a Warrior.” I’m pretty darn giddy about this to be frank (even if he is going to be coming back from an injury).
Daniel: Trying not to crash at the Powell St. exit in Emeryville in rush hour traffic as I started uncontrollably “Bankhead Bouncing” as the news broke over KMEL.
What most excites you about this deal?
Apricot: GSW hasn’t had a scoring center since… Webber? And I’m curious if Cousins can be a playmaker out of the post. He could be a good counter to hyper-switch defenses like the Rockets. I wonder if GSW can unlock some sturdy defense from him. And if it’s a disaster, the contract is just a year.
Jannelle: I’m excited to see how he will be used in the system. Yes Boogie in whatever state he’s in is the best low post scorer the Dubs have had in a long time. While that skill set is appreciated, it doesn’t matter much in this system. What I’m excited about is his playmaking. His passing is underrated and overlooked. In a ball movement heavy system, his passes and decision making plus his 3’s (he made 124 3s at 35 percent before injury last season) will be interesting to watch.
Hugo: I think Boogie is going to be the most important and most fun storyline for the Warriors this season. Last regular season was so much of a wash because of injuries and lackadaisical play, and this season is almost guaranteed to be interesting.
JMak: I’m ecstatic to finally see the 3rd Splash Brother joke from when Steph, Klay, and Cousins were on Team USA come to fruition. Plus with David West possibly retiring or leaving, we now have a suitable replacement for those gnarly scowls. By the way, what’s the over/under on the Dubs getting more technical fouls than they did last year?
Sami: I can’t wait to see Cousins healthy and playing again. He gets a lot of hate around the league, even from fans of the teams he’s played on. But in my opinion, he’s one of the most likeable players in the league if you ignore the theatrics. Who among us wouldn’t lash out if we were forced to play for the Kings?
Kim: I think this has the makings of next season’s ultimate feel good story. Here’s a guy who was about to get a max deal and got handed a major lemon (injury). But you know what? He’s decided to make some lemonade out of a bad situation and join a championship team where he will have teammates he’s already comfortable with and supportive coaches, trainers, and medical staff. This could be a place where DeMarcus heals both physically and emotionally and finds true joy in the sport. And let’s be honest, the MLE for an All-star? What is there not to be excited about.
Daniel: The greatest 2k team ever has finally been created, and I can use it without remorse as an Oakland native born into Dubdom.
What’s your biggest concern about the addition of Cousins?
Apricot: The concern is chemistry and Cousins’ discipline. When it comes to winning time, if Cousins is still limited, will he accept a reduced role? But the chemistry disruption is also a positive feature, because GSW will be facing burnout more than anything this year and getting things shaken up will be a positive.
Greg: I don’t necessarily have any concerns with Cousins as the contract is basically peanuts, and he’ll only start playing closer to the All-star break. My real concern is that it cuts into the playing time of Bell and Jones who should have more opportunity with McGee gone and likely West and Pachulia to follow. Bell and Jones will get plenty of opportunity to start while Cousins is rehabbing, but it messes a bit with the dynamic. Kerr did say he wanted the roster to get younger during the parade.
Jannelle: My concern is the addition hindering the development of our young bigs. On the other hand, adding a vet such as Boogie can be an asset in that regard.
Hugo: There are two separate issues: the injury and Boogie’s defense. An Achilles tear is a terrible injury, especially for a big man, and he’ll spend a lot of the year recovering from that. And even when he’s been at full strength, his defense has not been consistent. But the Warriors won’t have to depend on him, and he’ll be able to come back at his own pace. The Warriors could use auxiliary scoring, and I have no doubt Boogie can really contribute there.
Sami: I’m not too concerned with anything; it’s a low risk contract for the Warriors and an opportunity for Cousins to get a re-do on his free agency. The playing time for the young bigs won’t be an issue for a while, since he likely won’t play the first half of the season and even when he comes back he’s not likely to be heavily taxed until the playoffs. They’ll get their work in.
Daniel: I’m concerned for the league. The Final Prophecy is upon us: there will be no survivors outside of the Golden State. Welcome…..to the “BIG FIVE ERA”.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments! If you have a lot of thoughts, consider writing up a FanPost.