Just wanted to get in here and give some thoughts on both parties in the Cousins-Warriors marriage because I keep seeing a lot of misconceptions.
On Cousin's I have seen a lot of resentment that he took the Warriors offer in the first place. There seems to be some notion that Cousins had multiple offers available to him with more money on the table. In his most recent podcast, Zach Lowe mentioned that he heard the Pelicans were willing to offer a 2 year deal (or 2 year with a third year player option) at between $15-17 million per year. Lowe also mentioned that if he heard about this then so did Cousins and his reps, which means they turned it down. For almost every other team in the league Cousins on a 1 year deal wouldn't be worth it. For starters, most teams can't afford letting their big free agent acquisition sit until December at the earliest. Assuming he was against long term deals at less than the max (which seems likely based on everything out there) the team that signed him wouldn't get his Bird rights (because he wasn't on the team long enough). Without Bird rights many wouldn't be able to re-sign him if he did end up earning a max contract next year, and those that could would be competing against several other teams that have max money next offseason.
Cousins wasn't being petty or immature, he was betting on himself. He didn't see offers he like and gambled that he can show he is a max guy. If he wins that gamble he could be looking at a 4 year $150 million deal next offseason. Even if he isn't the same player, if he shows he is still a starting caliber center there will likely be money for him next season, remember there won't be enough tier 1 free agents to go around to all the teams with cap space next summer. Guys get overpaid all the time, Timofey Mozgov and Bismack Biyombo both make over $15 million a year. That $15-17 million per year deal is very likely going to be there for him next summer so barring a complete disaster he likely loses very little with this gamble. This way he gets to play in the playoffs (which he has never done and reportedly was upset about missing his first time this year), take as much time as needed for his rehab and re-enter a more player friendly market next season.
On to the Warriors, there seems to be a lot of complaining about competitive balance around this coming season which seems a bit extreme. Beyond the fact that the Warriors were going to be the favorites regardless, there are some real concerns with integrating Cousins into their team and what they gave up to get him. The first is that Cousins is a ball dominant post-up player. Cousins likes to hold the ball, survey things and make a decision and he doesn't cut and move with much urgency without the ball. He also likes to post-up with the intent to score. The Warrior's offense at it's best is the exact opposite. The ball (and players) are constantly moving and making quick, split-second passes to keep defenses off balance. When the Warriors do post-up, it's almost always to facilitate offense somewhere else. Asking Cousins to take a back seat and change how he plays is a tough sell, especially when he also needs to showcase himself for free agency in a year. Just integrating Cousins will be tough since he likely can't even begin to play until December (and then likely on a minutes restriction). The Warriors, if lucky, will get half a season to figure out how to mix Cousins in before the playoffs.
The Warriors also sacrificed their ability to sign wing depth by spending the full mid-level on Cousins. After Iguodala, Golden State is looking at Shaun Livingston, who doesn't shoot 3's (only 6 attempted in 92 total games last year), Patrick McCaw coming off an injury and rookie Jacob Evans. With guys like Tyreke Evans, J.J. Redick, Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute available, the Warriors might have been able to sell one of them on a 1 year deal at the mid-level plus the chance to get a ring and re-enter free agency in a player friendly market next year. Now, the Warriors are really hoping that 34 year old Iguodala is healthy and won't see his play slip because they are perilously thin behind him. All the above ignores the elephant in the room: Cousins may no longer an impact player post-injury.
Bottom line: Cousins took a calculated risk and there wasn't much of a market for him anyway based on what he wanted and the Warriors-Cousins marriage isn't the guaranteed world beater people seem to think it is.
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