DeMarcus Cousins injury chance is why Warriors signed Andrew Bogut

DeMarcus Cousins injury chance is why Warriors signed Andrew Bogut

OAKLAND -- The Warriors signed Andrew Bogut last month as an insurance maneuver. Now, he’s an absolute necessity.

Bogut’s value increased immensely Monday night, when starting center DeMarcus Cousins went down in the opening minutes of Game 2 of their first-round NBA playoff series against the Clippers with a quad injury of such severity that he did not return, and is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam Tuesday.

Though the Warriors know what Bogut brings, they were eager to see what Cousins, a legitimate All-Star, could produce in his first postseason as an active player.

Now, they simply hope Boogie is able to play at some point during these NBA playoffs. Based on photographs of his left quadriceps, that would require a miracle.

After nabbing a steal with 8:33 left in the first quarter, Cousins chugged off on a one-man fast break before slipping and falling and immediately clutching the front of his left thigh. He remained down for a few moments before rising with assistance, and being escorted into the locker room.

The Warriors shortly thereafter announced that the 6-foot-11, 270-pound center would not return to the game.

After eight seasons yearning for the playoffs and never making an appearance, Cousins signed a one-year contract with the Warriors last summer, expecting to make the playoffs. He finally got his wish. He lasted a total of 25 minutes -- 21 before fouling out of Game 1 on Saturday and four before limping out of Game 2.

Which means the dimensions Boogie brings -- these Warriors have never had a center with such wondrous offensive gifts -- likely are gone before they had a chance to fully bloom as a member of this team.

Scoring from the post? Gone. Center as a 3-point threat? Not anymore. Bully ball in the paint? No longer an option.

This will hurt Cousins because it meant so much for him to be a part of this, and it will disappoint the Warriors because they so badly wanted him to experience this journey.

This, though, is why they signed Bogut. Just in case. Because you never know.

So the Warriors, for the foreseeable future, will look much as they did before Cousins was activated Jan. 18. The only tangible difference is that Bogut has been added.

[RELATED: LeBron shows support for Boogie after Game 2 quad injury]

Warriors coach Steve Kerr has said all along that he will deploy his centers based largely on matchups -- after Cousins was the unquestioned starter. Expect Kerr to start Bogut against traditional centers, though he won’t play the 32 or so minutes allotted to Cousins.

Kevon Looney likely will get starts against “smaller” big men, and it’s conceivable that Jordan Bell will receive another opportunity -- especially if the Warriors advance and face the Houston Rockets in the second round.

Damian Jones, who opened the season as the Warriors' starting center, tore his left pectoral muscle in December and is rehabilitating from surgery. He has progressed enough to play 3-on-3, but the Warriors have not issued a timetable for his return.

Without Cousins, the Warriors go from perhaps the most gifted scoring center in the league to what likely is a center-by-committee approach. And, still, they will be favored to win it all.

Watch Steph Curry try to freestyle rap at his charity golf tournament


Watch Steph Curry try to freestyle rap at his charity golf tournament

Steph Curry makes playing basketball look easy, but the same cannot be said about his rapping. 

The Warriors star grabbed the microphone at the Stephen Curry Charity Classic at TPC Harding Park on Monday, and freestyled ... well, something. 

"I don't know where this ball's going, and I'm sure not good at flowing," Curry rapped. 

The former line is self-deprecation, considering Curry's handicap. The latter? That's spot-on. 

[RELATED: Why NBA's new tampering proposal won't make a difference]

During his time at Davidson College, Curry and his friends rapped about a campus cafeteria in a parody set to the tune of Asher Roth's "I Love College." Much like Curry's magical NCAA tournament run foreshadowed his NBA success, his rapping on the decade-old video did the same for Monday's display. 

As far as NBA point guards with Oakland ties go, the rapping should only be left to Damian Lillard

Warriors counted on Mike Dunleavy Jr. in D'Angelo Russell trade, draft


Warriors counted on Mike Dunleavy Jr. in D'Angelo Russell trade, draft

Mention the name Mike Dunleavy Jr. to a Warriors fan, and you're likely to get a sour face in response.

The No. 3 overall pick of the 2002 NBA draft never lived up to his potential over four-plus seasons in Golden State, and his seemingly relaxed disposition on the court didn't endear him any further. He was quite a talent drop-off from the first two picks of that draft -- Yao Ming and Jay Williams -- and he was selected six picks ahead of Amar'e Stoudemire, among others.

In fact, arguably the most helpful thing he ever did for the Warriors was be involved in the trade that brought Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington over from the Indiana Pacers.

Time heals all wounds, though, and Dunleavy recently was involved in an important Warriors trade once again.

Dunleavy is back with Golden State, having rejoined the franchise as a pro scout last season. But as The Athletic's Anthony Slater reported Tuesday, it was his involvement in the sign-and-trade for D'Angelo Russell on July 1 that had plenty to do with his elevation to his current position of assistant general manager.

On the night of June 30, Dunleavy sat in a Manhattan hotel room with Warriors general manager Bob Myers, trying to figure out how Golden State would proceed after learning that Kevin Durant was taking his talents to Brooklyn.

"Bob knew before everybody else, so that gave us a little bit more time to figure out what’s next,” Dunleavy told Slater. “But once that 6 p.m. time slot hit, things started flying. There was so much real-time action, intel collecting."

Having been based in New York for his scouting duties, Dunleavy got plenty of exposure to Russell during his time with the Nets, which aided in the Warriors' assessment of the dynamic guard.

"I didn’t see D’Angelo Russell play live 10, 20 times (like Mike),” Myers said. “There’s never been more information available, whether it’s analytics, your ability to watch tape, see games, dig into numbers. But I don’t think any of it is a substitute for actually going to a game in person, talking to coaches and watching the whole day develop, from when the player gets there to warm up, the stuff fans don’t see, interacting on a closer level, how they act when they get subbed out, how they react to winning and losing."

While Myers is at the head of the Warriors' basketball operations department, he encourages a collaborative decision-making process. When it came time to decide on Russell, Dunleavy's familiarity was utilized.

"When we were faced with that short window of time, we certainly asked him,” Myers revealed. “He gave a rundown of where he thought he improved, his strengths, potential weaknesses, fit, all that."

The rest, as they say, is history.

With input from Dunleavy, Golden State made the gutsy decision to complete the sign-and-trade for Russell, which required the Warriors to depart with Andre Iguodala and multiple draft picks. The frantic events of the opening hours of free agency actually served to cement Dunleavy's interest in that kind of work, rather than deter it.

"I kind of got addicted to it," Dunleavy admitted.

Over the course of last season, Dunleavy grew more involved in the draft process. He attended several Villanova games, where he studied Golden State's eventual second-round pick Eric Paschall, and was present for the entirety of the Big Ten Tournament, where he saw future first-round pick Jordan Poole play three times. Dunleavy then joined the rest of the front office in Oakland for the remainder of the pre-draft process, including the evaluation of prospect workouts.

[RELATED: Iguodala planned to teach math before titles with Warriors]

Given who the Warriors ultimately selected in the draft, it's evident Golden State liked what Dunleavy had to say about both Poole and Paschall. Then, after he had further proven his value during the madness of the opening hours of free agency, Myers quickly offered Dunleavy his new elevated role.

"I’m not so arrogant to think I know more than he knows about an NBA offense," Myers conceded. "So I’m just positing questions to him. He takes a deeper look -- kind of like Andre (Iguodala) and Shaun (Livingston) -- just a brilliant basketball mind. It kind of comes naturally."

Dunleavy's first go-around with the Warriors was rocky, to say the least. But if Russell proves to be a good acquisition and the draft picks pan out, the second one will be a lot smoother.