On Monday night, the Golden State Warriors added another All-Star to their already impressive collection, signing center DeMarcus Cousins to a one-year, $5.3-million deal according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, who first reported and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who provided the details of Cousins' contract. As they are well into the luxury tax, the Warriors had to use the taxpayer mid-level exception to sign the former New Orleans Pelicans big man.
Free agent DeMarcus Cousins has agreed to a deal with the Golden State Warriors, league sources tell Yahoo.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 3, 2018
Cousins will sign a one-year, $5.3M deal with Warriors, league source tells ESPN. https://t.co/LaTLH3oOTB— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 3, 2018
A chance to restore his value
Cousins played in 48 games -- all starts -- for the Pelicans last year and played extremely well, averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists with a 58.3 true shooting percentage and a 22.6 Player Efficiency Rating (PER). However, he tore his left Achilles tendon during the late stages of a Pelicans win over the Houston Rockets back in January and hasn't seen the floor since. When Cousins is healthy, he is one of the most gifted offensive centers in the game. For his career, Cousins has averaged 21.5 points, 11 boards, and 3.2 assists.
What this means for both teams
On paper, this gives the Warriors an All-Star at every position, provided Cousins returns to form when his injury heals. This is a win-win for the defending NBA champions. They're taking a flyer on an All-NBA caliber player coming off of a very serious injury. If he returns to form, they'll have gotten an All-Star at a very cheap price. If Cousins struggles, they can move on from him since he's only under contract for this coming season. Even if Cousins returns and is half the player he once was, it is still a massive upgrade over Zaza Pachulia and the departed JaVale McGee. This was a very good deal.
As for the Pelicans, it's hard to say how much this affects them. Yes, losing a talent like Cousins stings, but without him, the team went 21-13, made the playoffs, swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round, and swiped a game from the Warriors in the second. However, I question if the Pelicans could pull that off again in 2018-19. They still have Anthony Davis (for now), but the other teams in the conference (mainly the Los Angeles Lakers) are getting better while they have now lost Cousins and point guard Rajon Rondo. They added Julius Randle after the Lakers renounced his rights, but while he is a good player, he isn't DeMarcus Cousins. We'll see how they do without Cousins for a full season.
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