Warriors GM: Playoffs Is the Goal for DeMarcus Cousins After Achilles Surgery

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2018

New Orleans Pelicans' DeMarcus Cousins (0) drives against the Charlotte Hornets during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

DeMarcus Cousins is one of the best big men in the NBA and only 27 years old, but there are questions about his availability and prowess moving forward after tearing his Achilles last season as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers has the bigger picture in mind, though, and stressed the fact that his team doesn't plan on rushing its newest All-Star back early in the 2018-19 campaign.

"The goal for us is to have him in the playoffs," Myers said Sunday, per Mark Medina of the Bay Area News Group. "That doesn't mean we'll wait until the playoffs. When he's ready to play, he'll play. We just don't know when that will be."

Myers continued to explain things with an element of caution when he discussed the timeline for Cousins' return following surgery.

"I think the surgery is anywhere from eight to 10 months from the time you have it," Myers said. "For us, it won't be, 'We need you to get out there tonight.' It'll be ramping it up slowly. You can't really tell with a guy until they get on the court and does certain things."

It would be a massive leap for many teams even to assume the playoffs if they held out their All-Star center for an extended period of time, but the Warriors aren't most teams. They are in the middle of a championship-or-bust window and still have four All-Stars in Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to anchor their title defense.

This is a franchise that has captured three of the last four NBA titles and is well-positioned to not only weather Cousins' absence but thrive during it, considering he has never played a game for Golden State during his career and is yet to establish himself as an important cog in the rotation.

When he does return, though, the Warriors will add a four-time All-Star and two-time member of an All-NBA team who averaged a head-turning 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds per game last season before the injury to their already-stacked lineup.

Reaching the goal of getting Cousins back to full health by the playoffs will make Golden State's other goal of taking home the Larry O'Brien Trophy yet again that much easier.