While Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson have been the most-discussed free-agents-to-be on the Warriors‘ roster all season long, a handful of the club’s other players who are headed for the open market are seeing their stocks impacted by what they’re showing in the postseason.
As Marc Berman of The New York Post writes, DeMarcus Cousins is one of those players. When he tore his quad in the first round of the playoffs, he seemed unlikely to return into the fall, raising uncertainty about what sort of offers he could expect in free agency. However, Cousins helped key the Warriors’ Game 2 win on Sunday, and is now in position to take on an even more crucial role with Kevon Looney sidelined for the rest of the NBA Finals. Cousins could be earning himself some extra money with each game he plays this series.
Meanwhile, one of the Warriors’ most reliable contributors off the bench in Game 2 was Quinn Cook, who played 21 minutes and knocked down three big 3-pointers to help hold off the Raptors. After the game, Draymond Green referred to Cook as “our Patty Mills,” adding that the young guard “should be here for a long time” (Twitter link via Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated).
The Warriors will have to decide in a few weeks how strongly they agree with Green, as Cook will be up for restricted free agency. Even if Golden State issues a qualifying offer to gain the right of first refusal on Cook, a rival suitor could swoop in with an offer sheet that the Warriors may be reluctant to match, given the luxury-tax implications.
Here’s more from around the Western Conference:
- Jonas Valanciunas once again stated this week that the Grizzlies‘ head coaching decision will play a part in his decision on his $17.6MM player option for 2019/20, as Lithuanian reporter Donatas Urbonas relays (via Twitter). “Deeper into the summer, we’ll have a better picture [of] who’s staying and what are the team’s plans,” Valanciunas said. “First, I want to see who’s the head coach. It’s gonna be a huge factor.”
- With Darko Rajakovic prepared to head to Phoenix, the Thunder will have three openings to fill on Billy Donovan‘s staff, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. Mark Bryant and Bob Beyer also accepted jobs with new teams.
- Brett Dawson of The Athletic explores Patrick Patterson‘s outlook as the Thunder forward prepares to enter a contract year. Despite two up-and-down years in Oklahoma City and the possibility that he’ll be on the trade block, Patterson could be a rotation player if he returns, Dawson writes.
- The Nuggets worked out six prospects at the Pepsi Center on Tuesday, bringing in Javon Bess (Saint Louis), Kavell Bigby-Williams (LSU), Jordan Davis (Northern Colorado), Justin James (Wyoming), Tanor Ngom (Ryerson), and Josh Reaves (Penn State), per a team release.
7 thoughts on “Western Notes: Cousins, Cook, Valanciunas, OKC”
Re Valanciunas: Don’t player options have to be exercised by June 29? I wonder what he means by “deeper into the summer.”
Yeah, unless the team agrees to push it back, he actually has an even earlier decision deadline (June 13), so not sure what his thinking is there. If he had until June 29, he could at least see what the Grizzlies do during the draft.
Interesting, thanks. How do you find something like that June 13 date? Is it public? I’ve looked for similar things in contracts but have never been able to find them.
Basketball Insiders’ cap pages have those details for some players. In Valanciunas’ case, Chris Herrington reported it earlier this spring: link to twitter.com
I like to see cousins go back to the Kings. Young good upcoming team with a big force in the middle. They could make a dynasty with a few more transactions.
Valan presumably wants a coach that likes picknrolls. All those new Memphis execs… might prefer he opts out… and are waiting for the 14th to hire a coach.
That June 13 date should be in the next Valan article… The execs may not agree to push it back.