When the Golden State Warriors signed center DeMarcus Cousins to a one-year deal this past offseason, it was widely considered to be a massive steal. But there was obvious risk involved, as Cousins had missed the bulk of the second half of the 2017-18 season. For Golden State, the risk was minimal considering that signing one of the NBA’s best big men and awaiting his return from injury wouldn’t negatively impact their outlook.
Along with that, when the All-Star got back to 100 percent, the Warriors could insert him into the lineup and create one of the most impressive starting fives potentially in NBA history. And after 45 games of the 2018-19 NBA regular season, that day has arrived, as Cousins will suit up on Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The 28-year-old center suffered a torn left Achilles tendon after playing in 48 games of the 2017-18 season with the New Orleans Pelicans. Prior to his injury, Cousins averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists while shooting 47 percent from the field.
How DeMarcus Cousins’ Injury Happened
The scene occurred on January 26, 2018 in a game against the Houston Rockets. Cousins attempted a free throw with roughly 15 seconds remaining and attempted to chase down his own rebound after a miss. It happened when he landed and Cousins immediately grabbed for his left foot.
He was assisted to the locker room while unable to put any weight on his leg while attempting to leave the floor. It was a tough scene to watch for an exceptionally talented player. As we know, this marked the end of Cousins’ season and his tenure with the Pelicans. He played in 65 games over the span of just north of one season after the team acquired him via trade from the Sacramento Kings.
Since that point, Cousins has spent his time rehabbing and making a push for his return to the court. Friday’s game not only has the attention of Warriors fans, but the NBA as a whole will be watching to see how the talented big man looks in his first game back.
DeMarcus Cousins Joins the Warriors
In order to add Cousins to an already stacked Warriors roster, the team had to use their mid-level exception, setting up a one-year, $5.3 million deal as Ray Ratto of NBC Sports detailed. Beyond that, it also cost the Warriors $16 million in luxury tax fees to make this deal happen. But the two sides got the deal done, and he now has a chance to prove he’s fully back by playing with one of the NBA’s most elite franchises.
Even prior to the days ahead of his debut with Golden State, he praised his new teammates when speaking to Heavy.com’s Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson over the summer.
“It’s a team full of high IQs,” DeMarcus Cousins said. “I believe everyone on our team has a very high IQ when it comes to the game of basketball.”
NBA fans are set to find out exactly how Cousins’ rehab went and if he’s back to nearly 100 percent on Friday night. One thing that’s certain is that whatever impact he’s able to make, it’s going to add an inside presence for the Warriors unlike any they’ve had in recent years.