DeMarcus Cousins was supposed to be one of this offseason's biggest free agents, and most thought he'd land with either the Los Angeles Lakers or the Washington Wizards on a long-term deal. Somehow, however, he wound up joining the NBA champion Golden State Warriors on a one-year deal for far less money ($5.3 million) than anyone would have imagined.
Yes, Cousins wants to win. He's never been part of a championship team, and most of his time in the NBA has been spent playing on teams that didn't make the playoffs. But Cousins isn't just signing with the Warriors because he wants to win. There's another major factor.
Cousins simply wasn't getting calls. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Cousins had "zero" offers before his agent called the Warriors.
Stein later tweeted that Cousins had "no significant" offers before he spoke with the Warriors.
Cousins, one of the best big men in the NBA, tore his Achilles tendon this past January and was forced to sit the rest of the season. That's a big part of the reason for the drop in his market value. Teams simply don't know whether he'll be able to return to be the player he once was.
By signing with the Warriors, Cousins will be able to relax as he returns from the injury. Golden State certainly doesn't need him on the floor from day one.
With Golden State, Cousins will be able to return from his injury when he's ready and prove to other teams that he can still be a dominant force in the league. If that happens, he'll have much better offers when he hits free agency again next year.