DeMarcus Cousins, Warriors Agree to Reported 1-Year, $5.3 Million Contract

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2018

New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins (0) looks to pass the ball against the Utah Jazz in the first half during an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Boogie is leaving the Big Easy.

DeMarcus Cousins and the Golden State Warriors reached an agreement Monday after the big man spent a season-and-a-half with the New Orleans Pelicans. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the deal is for one year and $5.3 million.

"Golden State used its taxpayer mid-level exception to reach a deal with Cousins, who underwent surgery in late January to repair the torn Achilles," Wojnarowski reported. "He has been rehabilitating the injury and is hoping to return some time in December or January."

However, Cousins told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that he is "shooting for training camp." Cousins added, "It wasn't a comment just to sound good in free agency."

Cousins' decision came down to the Warriors and the Boston Celtics, according to ESPN.com's Chris Haynes. A potential Pelicans sign-and-trade with the Portland Trail Blazers hit a "road block" because of Cousins having the same agent as restricted free agent Jusuf Nurkic, per Haynes. Cousins told Spears he was shocked the Pelicans didn't make an offer, per Garland Gillen of WVUE-TV.

When free agency opened Sunday, Cousins had "no significant contract offers," per Spears.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported Draymond Green and Warriors general manager Bob Myers led the recruitment of Cousins. The center also spoke with head coach Steve Kerr over the phone.

Cousins told Spears the decision was "his Ace of Spades" and the "smartest move ever."

The Sacramento Kings shipped Cousins to the Pelicans at the 2017 trade deadline, and he instantly formed the league's most dynamic frontcourt tandem with power forward Anthony Davis. However, the two were never able to vault the Pelicans into the Western Conference title conversation—namely because Cousins tore his Achilles in January.

But before he hit the shelf, Cousins looked like an All-NBA lock.

In 48 games last season, Boogie averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 47.0 percent from the field.

According to Basketball Reference, Cousins was the only player to log at least 25 points, 12 boards and five dimes a night during the 2017-18 campaign. In fact, Cousins was so good that he became the first player since Charles Barkley (1992-93) to average those figures over the course of a qualified season.

While it'll hurt the Pelicans to lose that kind of production, the Warriors should be thrilled to add an anchor of Cousins' caliber.

Zaza Pachulia is a free agent, while JaVale McGee agreed to a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, per Haynes. Cousins fills a clear need at center for Golden State. The depth of the Warriors' squad will also allow Cousins to make a gradual return to the court from his Achilles injury.

Cousins can play himself into a far bigger contract next summer.

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