By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
In one of the more stunning free-agency moves in the NBA offseason, mercurial star DeMarcus Cousins chose to sign a one-year deal with the defending champion Golden State Warriors for a $5.3 million mid-level exception. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski dropped his latest Woj-Bomb with the news Monday night.
But what makes the move interesting for Celtics fans is that, apparently, Cousins almost ended up in Boston. ESPN’s Chris Haynes later reported that he had narrowed his choices to the Warriors and Celtics.
There had long been speculation that C’s head coach Brad Stevens didn’t want Cousins, who has built up a reputation for being difficult to coach. But Stevens denied that he told anyone such a thing when he spoke to Zolak & Bertrand last March.
Danny Ainge has never been one to shy away from talented players with perceived character flaws. His gamble in the draft on Robert Williams, who is already missing flights and practices, is the latest indication of that. Clearly, he felt it was worth the risk to see if Cousins could thrive in a Celtics uniform.
Instead, Cousins will don a Warriors jersey when he’s ready to return from Achilles surgery. He’s not likely to see game action until December or January, but he’ll be a heck of an addition to the Warriors lineup when he does.
As for the Celtics, it’s interesting that Ainge was even considering such a move. A low-risk contract like a one-year MLE is perfect for a team to offer a player like Cousins coming off a major injury. Anything more than one year would’ve been too much for a guy who, while superbly talented, has caused more problems than he’s solved to this point in his career.
UPDATE (Tuesday, 9:20 a.m.): Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported on Tuesday that the Celtics never made an offer to Cousins, and that they started to “look into it” but by that time Cousins had already chosen the Warriors. So, not exactly a bidding war going on for Boogie. But it sounds like Ainge was showing at least some semblance of interest in him.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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