By Daniel Poarch
The Golden State Warriors, as they often do, shook the NBA landscape last week, signing All-NBA center DeMarcus Cousins to a one-year, $5.3 million contract. Coming off a disastrous Achilles tear midway through last season, Cousins will enter the 2018-19 season with significant concerns about his health and long-term outlook. Nonetheless, Golden State has acquired a legitimate fifth superstar for the mere mid-level exception.
While the signing may not truly alter expectations for next season — the Warriors already looked like title favorites once again, especially as the Rockets’ off season has flown further off the rails — there are some interesting ripples here worth examining.
If he returns to full health after the new year and ready for the playoffs, Cousins brings a dynamic to Golden State that we haven’t seen before: straight-up, old-school bully ball in the paint. While Cousins has developed into an impressive passer and three-point shooter, the foundation of his game has always been his remarkable combination of technical skill and relentless physicality under the basket. Nitpicking stylistic concerns aside, the Warriors have always set out to stay ahead of the curve in schematic design, and Cousins offers them new opportunities to attack defenses that they’ve never really had in the Steph Curry...