If you’re upset at the Golden State Warriors or the NBA or it’s commissioner Adam Silver, don’t be. Fans should channel their frustration towards their respect favorite teams. According to DeMarcus Cousins, no teams presented offers to him in free agency, including neither the New Orleans Pelicans who he played for the past one-and-half seasons nor the Washington Wizards who were linked to Cousins as a possible “long shot” in a sign-and-trade.
Cousins told The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears he was “confused” and “hurt” that he received no significant offers, however, he was prepared for disappointment considering he was coming off a ruptured Achilles.
Golden State Warriors newcomer DeMarcus Cousins told ESPN's The Undefeated that he had no significant contract offers when free agency arrived, but had already mentally prepared himself for possible disappointment due to his recovery from his Achilles' tendon injury. Cousins…
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) July 3, 2018
Teams were rumored to be interested in Cousins, but their actions appeared otherwise. The Los Angeles Lakers loaded up on signings and still did not land Cousins despite renouncing their rights to Julius Randle. The Pelicans opted to then sign Randle to a two-year deal taking themselves out of the Cousins sweepstakes. The Wizards were reported to be exploring options of a possible sign-and-trade, but by going after Nerlens Noel signs pointed to the team to understanding they were too cash strapped.
Even the Portland Trailblazers kicked around the thought by discussing a possible sign-and-trade with the Pelicans, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN.
Yet, there was nothing substantial in the eyes of Cousins and his agent. Cousins went as far as claiming Pelicans general manager Dell Demps “didn’t want me.”
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the teams with cap space “didn’t want” Cousins in their locker room or in their organization.
"There were teams with [salary cap] space that did not want [DeMarcus Cousins] in their locker room – did not want him in their organization. … This gives him a chance to prove those things to people in Golden State." —@wojespn pic.twitter.com/hfGfWB6vlD
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 3, 2018
Cousins and his agent reviewed his options and ultimately agreed to sign with the Warriors after talking to Warriors’ Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and Steph Curry. Excited for the opportunity and a chance to prove teams wrong, Cousins called the move to the Warriors as his “ace of spades” and “chess move.”
Cousins claims can be debated, but again actions stated otherwise. The Dallas Mavericks signed DeAndre Jordan. Noel signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder and even JaVale McGee signed with the Lakers all before Cousins — all of which could be indicators that there was indeed no significant offers for Cousins.
It’s hard to speculate definitively which teams were thinking Cousins was off-limits for them. All anyone can draw on is the actions of those teams rumored to be interested in the All-Star. Having an Achilles injury and past character issues was apparently too concerning for many teams. Regardless of what degree teams like the Wizards were on Cousins, it’s telling for the state of the league the one team that sat at the table was the Warriors, the two-time defending NBA champions.