DeMarcus Cousins’s Return Kept Tyson Chandler from Joining the Warriors

Tyson Chandler

Getty Lakers' Tyson Chandler fights for the ball against Knicks player Enes Kanter.

Well, it was finally revealed today that DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins will likely be making his Warriors debut this month, on January 18th against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The news set Twitter ablaze, as the former Pelicans star’s move to the Bay Area has been controversial from the moment he made the decision. His addition to the lineup will likely bump 22-year-old Kevon Looney out of the starting five, making this Warriors team one of the most well-rounded and stacked in NBA history. Once Cousins makes his debut, each of the Warriors’s starting five will be an All-Star. Heading into the playoffs–given that this Golden State group will have ample time to work out chemistry with Cousins–it’ll be more of an uphill battle than ever for the rest of the league to defeat the reigning champs.

Kevon Looney

Golden State center Kevon Looney

Kevon Looney, who is averaging 6.6 points per game, could have been further back in the depth chart, though, had veteran Tyson Chandler not chosen to join the Lakers early in November. According to a report by The Athletic, the former Suns center had been considering a move to Golden State, but ultimately decided to join the Lakers because of how Cousins’s return could bury him on the bench.

He told Sam Amick of The Athletic:

“The Warriors, honestly, had always been on my mind just because I love the style of basketball that they play. I love the players there. I love Steph (Curry), KD (Kevin Durant), I love (coach) Steve Kerr. I just love the style of play that they play with, and so I heavily considered that and I asked them if they would like me there, and they said ‘Yeah.’

“They also were completely honest, and said (how) DeMarcus is coming off injury and we don’t know what that playing time is going to be like once he gets back. And so for me, it became (a question of), ‘Where would I make the most impact?’ Do I want to go there and — back-to-back champs — just a well-oiled machine, be one of the guys, maybe be that vet on the bench after DeMarcus comes back?

“Or do I want to come to the Lakers, where they were teeter-tottering a little bit, struggling at the time, but I’d seen it coming alive, and I’ve always loved the draft picks and the young players that they had here, and then ‘Bron coming here, and then (Rajon) Rondo, and then having those vets? I’m like, let me go ahead and hop in that dogfight.”

Chandler has been more of a defensive factor for the Lakers, as he averages just 3.7 points per game and 5.6 rebounds. His veteran savvy, though, has been a boon for a young Lakers team that was struggling in early November–even with the addition of LeBron James.

Had Chandler chosen to join the Warriors–playing time be damned–his mere absence from any other Western Conference team would have only boosted Golden State further. Knowing that the Warriors could have been even more powerful–in the dimension where Chandler chose the reigning champs rather than the latest up-and-coming LeBron project–is some consolation as Boogie prepares to join the most stacked team maybe ever.

READ NEXT: WATCH: Nerlens Noel’s Brutal Head Injury That Left the Thunder Center Unconscious

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