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Ranking all of Steph’s teammates: #13 — DeMarcus Cousins

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Well, that didn’t work at all. But he was still good.

2019 NBA Finals - Game Six Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

During his time with the Golden State Warriors, Steph Curry has had 106 teammates who have appeared in at least one game. Some played in exactly one game, while others played in hundreds. Some never actually played in a game that Curry was active for, while others formed historically great partnerships with him.

And I’m ranking all 106 of them before a new season starts and he adds to the tally. Better get a move on.

Players are ranked — and stats are shown — based only on their time as Curry’s teammate. How good/bad they were in other organizations doesn’t matter. How good/bad they were on pre-2009-10 Warriors teams doesn’t matter.


#13 — DeMarcus Cousins

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Games: 30 (T-67th out of 106)
Points per game: 16.3 (9th out of 106)
Rebounds per game: 8.2 (2nd out of 106)
Assists per game: 3.6 (9th out of 106)

It would be a vast understatement to say that the DeMarcus Cousins experiment did not go the way the Warriors wanted. There were visions of grandeur, and it fell a bit flat.

The Warriors were already the epitome of a super team — with MVPs Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, and All-Stars Draymond Green and Klay Thompson — when they snatched Cousins away from the rest of the league.

Boogie was coming off four consecutive trips to the All-Star Game, but was nursing a torn Achilles and was going to miss the first half of the season. The Warriors had the luxury of being OK sitting on an empty roster spot, and it seemed like a match made in heaven, while also being a case of the rich getting richer.

Not surprisingly, he was rusty in his return to the court, and no longer the player who had been a dominant force in recent seasons. And then he injured his quadriceps in the playoffs, cutting his already truncated season short.

There didn’t seem to be a ton of interest in a reunion, something that proved to be for the best when, shortly after leaving the Warriors, audio leaked of him allegedly threatening to kill his child’s mother.

Yet despite the fact that Cousins wasn’t a star with the Warriors, and despite the fact that he’s now left a bitter taste in most NBA fans’ mouths, it can’t be denied that he was still really good with the Warriors.

His numbers were extremely good, and if they’re a tiny bit underwhelming relative to what he had put up in prior years, it was largely because the Warriors slow-played him to not put too much stress on his lower body. Expanded to 36 minutes, Cousins averaged 22.8 points, 11.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.1 blocks, and 1.9 steals. That’s elite.

Of Curry’s 106 teammates over 11 years, only one (David Lee) has averaged more rebounds than Cousins. He finished top 10 in assists among Curry’s teammates, despite being a center. He wasn’t the most efficient scorer, but he was still a quite good one.

But most impressive was actually his defense. I’ll admit to being low on Cousins’ defense earlier in his career, but it was strong with the Warriors. He was active and contested shots, despite the rehabbed Achilles tendon, and he managed to almost always put himself in the right position. The advanced metrics absolutely adored his short season on that end of the court, and the defense always felt a little more stable with him on the court.

I don’t remember his time with the Warriors particularly fondly, and I certainly don’t hold great feelings about him.

But he was good.

With fewer than 30 players left, I’m going to start listing the remaining names in alphabetic order, to help out with determining whether someone is properly ranked. Here they are:

Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Kevin Durant, Monta Ellis, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Kevon Looney, D’Angelo Russell, Klay Thompson, David West, Andrew Wiggins

Poll

What do you think of DeMarcus Cousins’ ranking?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    He was better than #13
    (54 votes)
  • 29%
    #13 is about right
    (95 votes)
  • 54%
    He was worse than #13
    (177 votes)
326 votes total Vote Now