With DeMarcus Cousins back, GM Bob Myers updates Warriors' open roster spot

With DeMarcus Cousins back, GM Bob Myers updates Warriors' open roster spot

DeMarcus Cousins made his season debut Friday night, and that's all anybody is talking about.

The hyperfocus is very understandable, because his return always was going to be the most highly anticipated moment of the regular season.

Now that Cousins officially is in the mix, the Warriors' front office finally can evaluate his progress and zero in on what to do with their 15th and final open roster spot.

Will they automatically add a center as an insurance policy for Boogie?

"This gives us a window here prior to the deadline that will inform us in that direction. If DeMarcus comes back and looks great and looks healthy -- and a great wing is available via trade or a great wing is available via buyout -- sure we would look at that," general manager Bob Myers said Friday afternoon on 95.7 The Game. "We'll factor in all we know in two weeks or three weeks when making that decision.

"But right now, the truth is we lost a center. We're getting one now, but we always planned on getting DeMarcus. So we have a little bit of a void there, but you never know. If something happens in the next two weeks that leads us to believe we're short on wing depth -- hopefully not, knock on wood -- somebody sprains their ankle and is out 2-3 weeks, that may push in a different direction."

[RELATEDCousins shakes nerves, then rust in impressive Warriors debut]

Damian Jones is out for the year after sustaining a torn pectoral, and he was the big man who could consistently catch lobs. As of now, the Warriors don't really have a true vertical threat who can set screens, roll to the rim and force defenses to stay attached. In a perfect world, Myers would be able to add somebody with this skillset, but those guys aren't exactly growing on trees. 

The Warriors have intentionally kept a roster spot open all season so they can have the flexibility to strike if somebody they really like becomes available. The trade deadline is Feb. 7, but if they aren't able to make a deal, they always could look to the buyout market or take a flier on somebody in the G League.

"Happy that DeMarcus is coming back now so it gives us a chance to evaluate that better," Myers added. "Speculating on the trade market and buyout market -- you always go in with certain thoughts and inevitably it goes in a different direction. So, we'll see what's possible and we'll go from there."

The fact that Cousins is on the Warriors should be the perfect reminder that you never know what's going to happen.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Watch footage of young Klay Thompson meeting Michael Jordan in 1998

Watch footage of young Klay Thompson meeting Michael Jordan in 1998

Klay Thompson has been around the NBA his entire life, both during his father Mychal Thompson’s career and now as an All-Star guard for the Golden State Warriors.

In May, Thompson spoke to the media about the first time he met Michael Jordan, when he was at a Portland Trail Blazers game in 1998. Klay and his family were living in Lake Oswego, Ore. at the time, and his dad was able to get the boys a chance to meet MJ and Scottie Pippen after the game.

Footage has now surfaced of that encounter, featuring the trio of Thompson boys meeting the NBA Hall of Famers for the first time.

Despite the lack of sound, it’s clear that the boys were blown away -- as just about any basketball fan at the time would be -- by the chance to meet NBA royalty.

[RELATED: Warriors' Klay Thompson will return 'late next season,' father Mychal says]

Klay, of course, had the least star-struck reaction as he just got his autograph and walked away, while his brothers stuck around.

I'm sure Jordan had no idea that he was signing an autograph for a kid who would grow up to win three NBA championships and receive two All-NBA accolades, all before his 30th birthday.

NBA rumors: Lakers to sign Dwight Howard as DeMarcus Cousins replacement

NBA rumors: Lakers to sign Dwight Howard as DeMarcus Cousins replacement

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is just a movie, but this is for real: Dwight Howard is expected to be back in Los Angeles and sign with the Lakers, six years after his first run in purple and gold. 

Howard's agent told The Athletic's Shams Charania the center has completed a buyout with the Grizzlies and will sign with the Lakers once he clears waivers. 

This comes after the news that former Warriors and Kings center DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL nearly two weeks ago. Cousins, who signed a one-year contract with the Lakers this offseason, was expected to be L.A.'s starting center this season, but that now could fall to Howard. 

Though ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Howard's contract with the Lakers is non-guaranteed, it's likely he makes the team. L.A. currently has just one natural center on their roster, former Warrior JaVale McGee, and he's better suited as a lob threat off the bench. 

That's the problem. McGee and Howard essentially fill the same roles for the Lakers. They both can swat shots and finish dunks. Besides that, they don't offer much. 

Howard also has dealt with multiple injuries in the past and only played in nine games last season with the Washington Wizards due to a gluteal injury. In his last healthy season, the 33-year-old averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds for the Charlotte Hornets during the 2017-18 campaign. 

Replacing Cousins with McGee is a downgrade for the Lakers, but an upgrade for the Warriors and Kings when it comes to playoff seeding. Golden State is viewed as having a similar regular-season record as L.A. next season while the Kings are looking to end a 13-year playoff drought. 

[RELATED: Six Warriors storylines you should watch for next season]

The last time Howard was a Laker, things went haywire on and off the court in Hollywood. Will the script be flipped this time? 

Howard could have quite the redemption story, but it would be a bold bet by an outsider.