Hot Take Marathon: Cousins Will End This Season as a Bench Player
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*The NBA offseason is cooling down, but the takes at OTG aren't. This month, we are hitting you with the Hot Take Marathon. Check back every day for a spicy NBA take!*
DeMarcus Cousins was arguably the best center in the NBA before he suffered a season-ending Achilles injury last season. That injury robbed him of some long-term, lucrative contract offers as he finished the last year of his contract with the New Orleans Pelicans. Cousins responded aggressively, as he signed with the back-to-back NBA Champions and one of the most stacked teams in NBA history for the mid-level exception. While Cousins will not be ready to hit the court by opening night, he will try to fill the starting center hole the Golden State Warriors have had over the last couple of years at some point during the season. But can he really do it?
If I’m being honest, Cousins is a surefire upgrade compared to any of the Warriors’ previous part-time starting centers (Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee, Jordan Bell, and even David West); none of those guys are up to Cousins’ level, even as he faces an uncertain future post-injury. But there is a possibility Boogie is not a starter by the end of the regular season. I can see Cousins struggling so much to recover from his Achilles injury that the Warriors kick off the playoffs with the “Hampton’s Five” starting lineup of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green, with Cousins coming off the bench.
Before you start calling me crazy, take a look at all of the players who have suffered Achilles injuries in the past. I am not exaggerating when I say none of them came back to play as well as they had before. The Achilles injury is widely recognized as the worst injury a professional basketball player can ever suffer. Take a look at the likes of Brandon Jennings, Rudy Gay, Elton Brand, and even Kobe Bryant himself; Achilles injuries either derailed their careers notoriously or ended them for good.
History is not on Boogie’s side, and it is only a matter of time before we find out if he is able to approximate his pre-injury, dominant self to revive his career or if he becomes, at best, a solid sixth man on a contender.