Colorful Ex-Warriors Big Man Makes Harsh Statement on Chris Paul Trade

Chris Paul, new Warriors point guard

Getty Chris Paul, new Warriors point guard

It was a brief but colorful time in Golden State Warriors recent history. The team was on the back end of the Kevin Durant era, the infamous 2018-19 NBA season, and center DeMarcus Cousins—still a star at age 28—had signed on with the team on a bargain deal following a torn Achilles tendon in New Orleans. There was great anticipation about his return, and when he came back to the floor for the Dubs he was solid, averaging 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds in 30 games.

But Cousins tore his quad in the second game of the playoffs and was essentially useless thereafter, missing 14 of the Warriors’ 22 games in the postseason, which ended with Durant and Klay Thompson also suffering serious injuries in a Finals loss to Toronto.

So Cousins knows a bit about being the former star coming into the Golden State mix. And he’s not feeling positive about the Warriors’ current veteran experiment, working 38-year-old Chris Paul into the lineup.

“I’m gonna be honest,” Cousins told SiriusXM radio, “I didn’t understand the Chris Paul trade.”

Contract Savings a Big Part of Paul Deal

The Warriors, of course, swapped controversial guard Jordan Poole to the Wizards for Paul just ahead of the NBA draft, scooping up Paul after he had been dumped to Washington by Phoenix. The Dubs gave up multiple other young assets—Ryan Rollins, Patrick Baldwin Jr. and a 2030 first-rounder, plus a 2027 second-rounder.

Poole is entering a four-year contract extension that will pay him $140 million. Paul will make $30.8 million next season, but his contract I not guaranteed after that.

“I looked and I thought, ‘Maybe this is just a contract thing, maybe they want to free up the books for the next season’,” Cousins said. “But as far as it being about basketball, or Xs and Os on the court, I don’t really see that elevating the Golden State Warriors to be honest.”

Cousins on Chris Paul: ‘I Don’t See Him Elevating the Golden State Warriors’

Paul will be a sureshot Hall of Famer once he is eligible. He is an 11-time All-Star and a member of the NBA’s 75th anniversary team, which ranks him among the 75 best players in the history of the league.

Paul averaged 13.9 points and 8.9 assists last season, a year after he led the league in assists with the Suns (10.8 per game in 2021-22). He remains an effective 3-point shooter, knocking down 37.5% of his 3s last year.

But he was injured for the final four games of the Suns’ second-round series against the Nuggets last year, which Phoenix lost in six games.

“I am not taking anything away from what Chris Paul has done in his career, I am just talking about him at this stage of his career,” Cousins said. “I don’t see him elevating the Golden State Warriors. Hey, I could be wrong. He could go find the Fountain of Youth this summer and come out and win MVP, I don’t know. Sixth Man of the Year, I don’t know. But based on what I have seen at this stage of his career, the addition to the team, I don’t see that really elevating the Golden State Warriors.”

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