DeMarcus Cousins wasn’t consistent during his time with the Warriors, but the former All-Star big man did show flashes of his former self.
After returning from a ruptured Achilles in January, Cousins worked his way back into game shape and had a number of eye-opening performances, including taking Nikola Jokic’s lunch money during a late-season stomping of the Nuggets.
But Cousins’ health didn’t hold up, as the big man tore his quad in Game 2 of the Warriors’ first-round NBA playoff series against the Clippers. Cousins worked hard in rehab and made it back for the NBA Finals, but clearly was not himself.
The Kentucky product hit the free-agent market and decided to leave the Bay for LA, joining LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers on a one-year, $3.5 million contract.
LA’s signing of Cousins caused some to scratch their heads, but Klay Thompson thinks Boogie joining the Purple and Gold might be the steal of the summer.
“DeMarcus is a great teammate and I developed such a great chemistry with him, coming off screens and cutting off from posts,” Thompson told Arash Markazi of The Los Angeles Times. “I’ll miss him. I know he’s going to be a huge asset for the Lakers. When they slow it down, he’s so good on the block and such a great decision-maker. People don’t realize what a great decision-maker he is. Above all, I love his will to compete. He was very hurt last year during our Finals run but he was still out there making a huge impact and getting double-doubles and he won us a couple games, honestly.
“He’s just such a gamer and I’m going to miss competing with him. LA got a very good player, who’s very hungry. I know he’s eager to get out there and show everybody he’s still one of the best players in the world because he has all the talent.”
Cousins’ departure wasn’t the only change the Warriors absorbed this offseason. Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and Quinn Cook also are gone. D’Angelo Russell, Willie Cauley-Stein, Jordan Poole, Alec Burks, Alen Smailagic and Eric Paschall are in. Thompson, meanwhile, will be out until at least the All-Star break as he rehabs his torn ACL.
While the Warriors look to reinvent themselves, Boogie, Bron and the Brow will be out to snap the Lakers’ six-year playoff drought and take over the Western Conference. If Boogie can rediscover his star form, the Lakers might just be Finals bound.