The Golden State Warriors enter the 2018-19 season as the favorite to capture yet another NBA championship and, even without DeMarcus Cousins involved, that would probably be the case. However, the presence of the All-Star big man provides additional upside for the reigning champs and, as training camp gets underway, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr hinted at an earlier return for Cousins than originally expected.
Because the Warriors will be just fine without him, conventional wisdom has been that Golden State will be cautious with Cousins, but Kerr’s foreshadowing here is quite interesting. It is important to note that simply returning to practice, especially in a limited capacity, wouldn’t mean that Cousins was necessarily nearing full-fledged clearance to take the floor in games. With that said, Cousins joining the team in basketball activities in the near future would certainly place him ahead of schedule, particularly when considering some of the more conservative timelines that have been rumored in the past.
In late August, Kerr noted that Cousins was “right on schedule,” even while declining to offer a timetable. Keeping things vague is probably the best course of action to limit expectations for the newly acquired big man but, in the same breath, it is difficult to avoid pondering how absurd the Warriors might be if Cousins can return and be fully integrated earlier than previously envisioned.
It will still be a while before Cousins is on the floor in an NBA game but all signs are optimistic at this point, which is great news for Cousins and the Warriors and terrible news for everyone else.