Warriors

Quinn Cook 'always staying paranoid' about his Warriors roster spot

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AP

Quinn Cook 'always staying paranoid' about his Warriors roster spot

Since he graduated from Duke in 2015, Quinn Cook has been on a wild NBA journey.

His big opportunity came in late March when Steph Curry hurt his knee. The Warriors called Cook's number, and he took advantage in a big way.

The result -- a guaranteed one-year contract worth just over $1.5 million with the Warriors. But just because Cook has some security, that doesn't mean he's feeling comfortable.

"Comfortable wouldn’t be the world I would use," he said Tuesday on KNBR 680. "This was my best summer (in terms of) sleeping, just because I knew where I was gonna be. I worked the same -- always staying paranoid -- so I constantly worked on my game this summer; getting in shape and changing my body.

"It was weird. I had to buy a dresser and stuff like that, because I was always living out of my suitcase. I got to finally unpack my suitcase and move into a place here in Oakland. … Now, I have a great routine and I have a consistent place to sleep at night."

Cook is well aware that nothing is guaranteed for a guy like him. He'll be back on the free agent market next summer, and he constantly has to prove that he's worthy of a guaranteed contract.

His personal goal this season is to be a mainstay in the Warriors' rotiation -- an every-game contributor, no matter the situation.

After practice Tuesday, coach Steve Kerr said the Warriors will use the final two preseason games against the Lakers as dress rehearsals, and you can expect to see rotations that will be deployed when the regular season begins.

So watch carefully Wednesday and Friday night, as we will have a good indication of where Cook stands on the depth chart.

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

Warriors, Cousins both committed to appropriately deliberate process

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APUSATSI

Warriors, Cousins both committed to appropriately deliberate process

OAKLAND – If the Warriors are treating the return of DeMarcus Cousins with the kind of extra care reserved for a valuable but not yet necessary asset, it is because they are and he is.

Coach Steve Kerr emphasized as much on Monday, hours after Cousins worked out with the G-League Warriors in Santa Cruz, when he conceded he had not yet talked with Cousins or Santa Cruz coach Aaron Miles.

“I assume it all went well,” Kerr said. “If it hadn’t, I would have heard by now.”

The plan, Kerr said, is to take it “day-to-day.” No rush whatsoever.

Which is as it should be, if not week-to-week. The Warriors didn’t need Cousins for Game 27 last Friday in Milwaukee and they don’t need him for Game 28 on Monday against the Timberwolves. They won’t need him for Game 29 or 30 or 31 or 32.

Truthfully, the Warriors’ resume indicates they may not need Cousins at all.

Such casual conditions are why Cousins knows he can go to Santa Cruz and work up a copious sweat with the G-League Warriors. Indeed, it’s why he volunteered to go.

“It was my idea,” Cousins told reporters after his first practice in Santa Cruz. “I wanted to come down. Before I want to step foot on the floor, I wanted to get in some type of basketball rhythm.”

“That’s something me and trainers kind of butted heads about. They have their idea of getting ready for a game, and I have mine. The last thing I wanted to do was go from doing drill work and 2-on-2 or 3-on-3, straight to an NBA game. I would be kind of shooting myself in the foot with that.”

For Cousins, you see, returning to the NBA is as much about pride as contractual obligation. He was an All-Star when he ruptured his left Achilles’ tendon in January and he wants to be as close as possible to that level once he’s back in the lineup.

This is in total accordance with the Warriors, who express not the slightest hint iota of a whisper or a rumor about anything remotely resembling urgency.

“I just want to be in the best shape possible and the best rhythm possible before I actually step on the floor for an NBA game,” Cousins said.

Dr. Rick Celebrini, the new director of sports medicine and performance for the Warriors, is the man through whom Cousins has been working. And it will be Celebrini who decides when the big man is physical ready for the demands of an NBA game.

“It’s coming from Rick Celebrini rather than from our doctors,” Kerr said of Cousins’ ongoing rehab. “DeMarcus feels pretty good and I think the Achilles is healing nicely, but it’s an injury that is unique in that your movement is really affected. Running and moving, when you are dealing with a sprained ankle or knee strain is one thing, but with an Achilles, from what I understand, and I have spoken with Jonas (Jerebko) about as well, it’s just different. You kind of have to get your bearings and that takes some time.”

Cousins went through a rigorous midday workout with the G-Leaguers and later came to Oracle Arena, before the Warriors-Timberwolves game, to do individual shooting drills under the supervision of assistant coach Chris DeMarco.

“I see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Cousins said. “I’m extremely excited to get back on the floor.”

There is no plan for him to play in a G-League game, and it’s not likely that he will.

That’s not why the Warriors signed him. They didn’t sign him to play in the NBA in December, either, though it can’t be ruled out. They don’t need him now.

But, boy, will Cousins come in handy for what’s anticipated in April, May and June.

Just as Kevin Durant made a great team appreciably greater, Cousins can make a versatile team far more versatile than it has been at any time during the most impressive run in franchise history.

DeMarcus Cousins' 5-on-5 practice for G-League Warriors ups confidence

DeMarcus Cousins' 5-on-5 practice for G-League Warriors ups confidence

The good news continues to roll in for the Warriors.

On the day the Dubs get back Draymond Green after an 11-game absence, DeMarcus Cousins rehabbed his Achilles with the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State's G-League affiliate, on Monday and came out confident about his progress.

“If my life depended on it, I can go out and play a game,” Cousins told Logan Murdock of the Mercury News. "I want to be 100 percent or as close to 100 percent as I can be. I want my body in tip-top shape -- it’s not even about the Achilles. It’s about my other body parts and making sure everything is fine-tuned and in the best shape possible to go out and play a full game.”

Cousins, who initially tore his Achilles nearly 11 months ago, did not mention when he potentially would make his season debut. Cousins participated in 5-on-5 practices Monday, and Santa Cruz coach Aaron Miles said Boogie “looked good.” But whenever Cousins does come back to the NBA, he says his Achilles is the last thing on his mind.

“[There was] no nervousness at all," he said. “I’m more worried about pulling a hammy or something like that. It’s been a while since I’ve played and reacted. The Achilles is the least of my worries.”

[RELATED: Watch Boogie's full Santa Cruz press conference]

Cousins will attend the Warriors-Timberwolves game Monday night in Oakland before practicing again in Santa Cruz on Wednesday. The progress Boogie makes this week in Santa Cruz likely will be the final determination about when he will return to the big club.

The Warriors currently are first in the West, get one All-Star back and have another returning soon. It’s nice to have an embarrassment of riches, eh?