The Golden State Warriors have little room in their roster as training camp nears, but one insider suggests that the team could consider using one of their remaining roster spots on a reunion with a four-time All-Star center.
The Warriors are reportedly still waiting on a decision from veteran Andre Iguodala, who has hinted at retirement but not declared his intentions yet. If he should return, there would be one roster spot up for grabs and a number of players competing at training camp for a chance at it. SI.com’s Ben Stinar believes that DeMarcus Cousins might deserve a look.
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Cousins a Potential Target
As Stinar wrote, the 32-year-old Cousins still has some gas in the tank, averaging 9.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 48 games last season for the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets. Though he has been hampered by injuries in recent years, Cousins could still be a contributor to the Warriors if the price is right and Stinar noted that he looked strong against Golden State in the playoffs.
“On a minimum deal, the Warriors could bring him back and see if he can help them next season,” Stinar wrote. “He averaged 10.6 points per game for the Nuggets in the 2022 NBA Playoffs when they lost to the Warriors.”
Cousins’ playoff performance also earned some praise from Warriors big man Draymond Green. Cousins was particularly strong in Game 5 against Golden State, scoring 19 points with four rebounds in just 15 minutes of play.
“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.”
Warriors Have Roster Decisions Looming
The Warriors could have little room for new additions to next season’s roster. Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported that the team is holding a roster spot for Iguodala if he chooses to come back for his 20th NBA season, which could leave several players vying for one roster spot — a spot that the Warriors could also choose to leave open to give them more flexibility going into the season.
After a strong performance in Summer League, guard Mac McClung could have an inside track to the final roster spot, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau noted. McClung earned a one-year contract that allows him to compete at training camp.
“But nothing is for sure, and the Warriors will bring in a few other players to go against McClung,” he wrote. “That being said, I think McClung has an inside track on some sort of contract — whether that be a two-way or a guaranteed deal. The Warriors need a backup point guard, and McClung, a much-better facilitator than many realize, might be a more intriguing option than anyone available on a minimum deal.”
Through four games in Las Vegas this summer, McClung averaged 13.3 points per game while making 50 percent of his 3-pointers. McClung earned G League Rookie of the Year honors last season, averaging 21.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game for the South Bay Lakers.