Free-agent center DeMarcus Cousins has reached agreement on a one-year, $5.3 million deal with the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Cousins, one of the top big men on the market, received interest from several teams — including the New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks and Washington Wizards. Cousins entered free agency after suffering a torn Achilles tendon in late January. A four-time All-Star, Cousins was expected to land a maximum contract on the open market before the injury.
In Golden State, Cousins will team with four fellow All-Stars in the starting lineup in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. Cousins is expected to be healthy for the early part of the regular season, league sources said, but this move signifies his determination to win and an opportunity to ease into the lineup.
Cousins has also played with Durant, Thompson and Green on USA Basketball. The Warriors’ recruitment was led by Green, who has a strong relationship with Cousins, Durant and general manager Bob Myers, and it included positive phone calls between Cousins and coach Steve Kerr, league sources said. Both Cousins and the organization understood the most critical time of the season — the playoffs — will be the stage in which Cousins shines the most for the Warriors.
The Warriors partly didn’t believe in Cousins’ interest initially, league sources said, but an agreement developed fairly quickly Monday after a few phone conversations with Golden State.
Cousins, 27, teamed with Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo to reshape the direction of the Pelicans franchise. In 48 games last season, Cousins averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks, and helped push New Orleans to a 27-21 record. Once Cousins suffered the season-ending injury, the Pelicans rallied, acquired Nikola Mirotic from the Chicago Bulls to shore up the frontcourt and swept a first-round Western Conference playoff series over Portland.
Cousins was traded to the Pelicans during NBA All-Star Weekend in 2017, ending his six-plus-season run with the Sacramento Kings.
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