DeMarcus Cousins signed with the Golden State Warriors this off-season, as he rehabs from the devastating Achilles tendon injury he suffered late last season.
The signing was a luxury for the Warriors, who have won three of the last four NBA Finals. When healthy, Cousins is one of the best big men in the entire league.
There are concerns about his recovery. Achilles injuries are more serious, and difficult to recover from, than an ACL tear, or something similar. Big men also have a specifically difficult time recovering from this type of injury.
If Cousins is cleared to play, and regains form, it gives the Warriors a fifth superstar, at the one position that they did not have one. If not, they're still overwhelming NBA Championship favorites.
Steve Kerr had a pretty optimistic update on the DeMarcus Cousins injury rehab.
It sounds like he's ahead of schedule. According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Kerr says that it might not be long before Cousins is back on the practice court.
For Cousins' part, he doesn't sound like someone lacking in motivation, after losing the end of a very promising 2017-18 season...and what could have been a huge pay day.
"I'm feeling a lot better than I was seven months ago," Cousins said during Monday's media day. "You know, it's been a grind. It's been an adventure to say the least. But I'm in a lot better place now. Physically I'm coming along great. As of right now, hasn't been any setbacks, and I feel a lot stronger. I'm getting my feet back under me, and I'm starting to feel like an athlete again."
Bob Myers also discussed Cousins' rehab, and the eventual impact he could have on the team.
When the time is right, Myers says, the Warriors "won't hold him back."
"I know there's a narrative that we'll save DeMarcus for the playoffs. That's inaccurate," Myers said. "When he can play, he'll play. We won't rush him, but we also won't hold him back. We need time for him to acclimate; we need to acclimate for him. But it's an exciting thing for our whole team to look forward to."
Eventually, some of these superstars will inevitably head their separate ways. For Cousins, who is on a $5.3 million deal this year, this is basically a high-profile way to prove that he has recovered, and can play for a championship team, so he can get that coveted big contract.
Until then, fans of other teams should try and enjoy the things on the periphery of the NBA title chase.