After LeBron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, all of the attention was on how they would fill out the remainder of the roster for the 2018-19 NBA season.
As the Lakers re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope while signing Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, and Rajon Rondo, the Golden State Warriors had a response of their own.
In perhaps the most surprising signing in league history, DeMarcus Cousins signed a one-year, $5.3 million contract with the Warriors, who have won three championships in four NBA Finals appearances. Although Cousins is still recovering from a ruptured Achilles injury, the Warriors potentially have five All-Star players in their starting lineup.
Following the signing of Rondo, the Lakers still had cap space and were linked to Cousins. However, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka were not interested in Cousins, according to Marc Stein of ESPN:
Word also reached us Monday night that LeBron’s Lakers, after signing Rajon Rondo away from New Orleans and then losing Randle to the Pelicans, had an opportunity to sign Cousins at a one-year price point similar to the one that landed him in Golden State. But I’m told the Lakers passed, clearing the way for the Warriors to infuriate the basketball public yet again.
Although Cousins is only 27-years-old and one of the best players in the league, he suffered a devastating injury. While he has mentioned the possibility of being ready as early as the start of the new season, most believe February is a more realistic timeline.
For the Lakers, it was likely an extremely tough decision to pass on the four-time All-Star as they do need another center. However, it appears re-signing Brook Lopez who was acquired from the Brooklyn Nets last year remains an option.
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