Warriors

Here's what's ahead for DeMarcus Cousins, Warriors after quad injury

Here's what's ahead for DeMarcus Cousins, Warriors after quad injury

OAKLAND -- The questions started coming minutes after DeMarcus Cousins limped into the Warriors' locker room Monday night during the first quarter of Golden State's 135-131 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 of their first-round NBA playoff series.

Among the topics were questions about his injury, about whether the 6-foot-11, 270-pound center could return during the playoffs, about his professional future and his future with the Warriors.

We’ll try to answer them as best we can with what we know:

Q: What exactly is Cousins’ injury?

An MRI on Tuesday revealed a torn muscle of the left quadriceps (the area inches above the knee), the Warriors announced Tuesday afternoon. It will not require surgery. Cousins is out “indefinitely” and will begin rehabilitation immediately.

Q: Is it possible that Cousins can return during the playoffs (assuming the Warriors advance to at least the Western Conference finals)

Highly unlikely. This injury typically requires a period of immobilization, followed by weeks of rehab. Game 7 of the NBA Finals, if necessary, will be played no later than June 16.

Q: With Cousins out, who gets the minutes at center for the Warriors?

It’s back to center-by-circumstance, as it was in the first two seasons under coach Steve Kerr. Depending on the opponent or their center, Andrew Bogut will get some starts, Kevon Looney could get starts, as might Jordan Bell. All three are in play. Damian Jones, who started the first six weeks before sustaining a torn left pectoral muscle, has progressed to playing 3-on-3, but the Warriors have not established a timeline for his return.

But the Warriors’ best lineup was one without Cousins. It’s the Hamptons 5 group, with Draymond Green at center, Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala at forwards, and Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson at guards. This is Kerr’s go-to lineup for 10 to 12 minutes per game, and that won’t change.

Q: Is this related to the ruptured left Achilles’ tendon Cousins sustained in January 2018 that required surgery?

Probably. When one part of an elite athlete’s leg is weakened, it’s common for other parts to compensate. Though there are therapies designed to minimize that, it’s still likely the amount of stress placed on the quad of a 270-pound basketball player compromises that area.

Q: Is there a chance Cousins can return to the Warriors next season?

Chances are greater now than they were before this injury. Cousins signed a one-year contract last summer for the taxpayer midlevel (roughly $5.34 million) with a goal of playing well enough to command a multiyear deal worth at least $20 million, putting him well beyond the financial range of the Warriors, who because of the collective bargaining agreement could offer just a 20 percent raise, or about $6.4 million.

This injury, however, significantly lowers the market rate for Cousins. No team is likely to step forward with a lucrative multiyear deal, so he could tumble back into the Warriors' budget.

There would have to be mutual interest, and there is no certainty of that.

[RELATED: Nobody can be certain about Dubs after Game 2 collapse]

Q: Does this injury threaten Cousins’ career?

Potentially. The grueling 10-month rehab required after Achilles tendon surgery nearly broke him. He acknowledged there were a lot of “dark” moments. After another serious setback, there is no knowing how Cousins will respond. He will need significant physical therapy, as well as knowledgeable emotional support.

LeBron James mentions Steph Curry, clowns in cryptic Instagram post

LeBron James mentions Steph Curry, clowns in cryptic Instagram post

LeBron James did not play in the Warriors-Lakers preseason game Monday night in Los Angeles.

But about 80 minutes before the opening tip at Staples Center, the three-time NBA champion created headlines when he spoke to the media regarding the drama between the NBA, China and Rockets general manager Daryl Morey.

Then about five minutes before the game started, he sent out two tweets:

Before the fourth quarter began, LeBron and Warriors superstar Steph Curry exchanged pleasantries:

After Tuesday's practice, LeBron said he feels like his pregame comments were taken out of context:

About 45 minutes later, he took to Instagram:

Are "they" -- the clowns that is -- the media in general or anybody who disagreed with what he said? Both?

Why send that message to Curry? 

[RELATEDHow security man Walker shocked Steph with Warriors return]

Does LeBron realize he sounded foolish when he told reporters that he believes Morey "was either misinformed or not really educated on the situation, and if he was, then so be it," and immediately followed that with: "I have no idea, but that is just my belief."

Is he aware that the backlash is self-inflicted?

Are you sick of this whole story?

Let's move on.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

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Steve Kerr hopes Kevon Looney will play in Warriors' season opener

Steve Kerr hopes Kevon Looney will play in Warriors' season opener

Well, this isn't exactly the Kevon Looney update you were hoping for.

Steve Kerr announced after practice Tuesday that the Warriors big man will not play against the Lakers on Wednesday or Friday.

Looney tweaked his hamstring 13 days ago and missed Golden State's first three preseason games.

At Media Day, Kerr told reporters that he has big plans for the 23-year-old and is planning on playing him around 30 minutes per night.

Willie Cauley-Stein -- who was projected to start at center -- has missed all of traning camp and is expected to be sidelined the first couple regular season games.

Without these two, the Dubs are getting crushed on the glass.

[RELATEDLooney shares details of ongoing chest injury rehab]

At this point, it would be very surprising if Marquese Chriss isn't on the Opening Night roster.

The 22-year-old is averaging 10.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.7 blocks during the preseason. He's also a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram