The Golden State Warriors could have another reunion coming this offseason.
The Warriors appear poised to make a deep playoff run after making short work of the Denver Nuggets in the first round, but could have some long-term roster problems to address once this season has ended. One insider believes that Golden State may have found the answer to its lack of depth in the frontcourt after a resurgent performance from a veteran center and former Warrior.
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Looking for Size
While the Warriors were able to grit out a victory against the Nuggets in Game 5 to close out the series, it was a difficult task thanks in large part to a season-best performance from center DeMarcus Cousins. After bouncing around the league following his departure from Golden State, the injury-struck big man found a home in Denver and nearly willed the Nuggets to victory on April 27, scoring 19 points with four rebounds in just 15 minutes of play.
The performance earned praise from former teammate Draymond Green, who said that Cousins can still do a lot to help a team win.
“For a guy who’s been through so much, for a guy who spent significant time this year not being on a roster, teams would be absolutely crazy if he’s not on a roster going into next year,” Green said, via Tom Dierberger of NBC Sports Bay Area. “Because if you think DeMarcus Cousins can’t help your team win, he helped them win Game 4 and almost carried them to a Game 5 win.”
As Dierberger pointed out, the pending free-agent Cousins could be an option for the Warriors in the offseason.
“Hey, the Warriors could use another big man next season,” he wrote. “Maybe general manager Bob Myers will come calling for a reunion?”
Warriors Passed on Getting Bigger at Trade Deadline
Going into this season’s trade deadline, many insiders expected the Warriors to move some of their talented young players for a big man to bolster the frontcourt. With second-year center James Wiseman’s rehab moving slowly at that point and Draymond Green out for weeks with an injury, Kevon Looney was the only true center on the roster for a long stretch.
The Warriors ultimately decided against making any move, as owner Joe Lacob has made it clear that players like Wiseman and rookie Jonathan Kuminga were seen as long-term pieces to allow the Warriors to contend for years to come, not trade bait for short-term help.
NBA analyst Bill Simmons called out the Warriors at the time, saying they should have looked for a big man at the trade deadline.
“Golden State didn’t do anything at the trade deadline to address a couple of playoff situations in these rounds, and I don’t really fully understand it,” he said in March on the “Bill Simmons Podcast.” “Because to me, they’re not big enough. Unless they are really convinced that Wiseman can come back, but what we saw from Wiseman last year, I don’t feel like he’s necessarily reliable in a playoff series even if he’s healthy. I just think they have too many guards and not enough size.”
The Warriors could have another chance to bring in size in the coming offseason with Cousins, which would likely fill another important need. Warriors veteran Andre Iguodala has hinted that he could retire after this season, and Cousins would be able to fill the void and pick up the role that Iguodala has served as a mentor for Wiseman.