DeMarcus Cousins could be a month away from making his debut with the Golden State Warriors. When the All-Star center does come back, head coach Steve Kerr knows better than to expect him to stick around long-term.
“We made no bones about it when we signed him,” Kerr said. “It’s a one-year deal. We’re not going to have money to sign him next year, he knows that. So we’d like him to help us win a championship. We’d like to be able to help him get a great contract next year somewhere else. That’s the reality. So the best way to do that is to play really well and enjoy this season and everybody do the best we can and have fun with it.”
Cousins, a 7-foot center who has played for the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans, is bidding to return from a ruptured left Achilles tendon. While he is progressing to full speed practices, Kerr said the Warriors are preaching patience to Cousins and his teammates.
The idea is to give Cousins enough time to take the court only when his conditioning reaches the point at which he won’t need rest days. Kerr said Cousins definitely has “a ways to go.”
“I love how far he’s come, but I don’t want people to get the idea that he’s getting close to coming back. It’s still going to be some time,” Kerr said. “It’s a totally different deal playing in an NBA game and playing against [assistant coaches] Willie and Chris DeMarco.”
Cousins, 28, averaged 21.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and one block per game through his first seven seasons. In 48 games last season before his injury, was averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.
He agreed to a one-year, $5.3 million deal with the Warriors after drawing little interest in free agency. In October, Cousins signed a shoe contract with Puma.
Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis said Thursday he would love for Cousins to come back to the Pelicans. New Orleans reportedly offered a long-term deal even after Cousins was injured, but he declined.
“He will be a free agent next year. Hopefully, down the line we can reconnect,” said Davis, a five-time All-Star who is a free agent at the end of the 2020-21 season.
—Field Level Media