OAKLAND -- The wait for DeMarcus Cousins to join the Warriors is expected to end “sometime this month,” multiple team and league sources have told NBC Sports Bay Area in recent days.
Though several outlets reported Tuesday that Cousins is planning to make his debut with the back-to-back defending NBA champions during the two-game set in Los Angeles, beginning Jan. 18, other sources have been less specific.
“I would think sometime before the East Coast road trip,” one source said, referring to the Warriors traveling to Washington to face the Wizards on Jan. 24, before going to Boston and Indiana.
That trip would be the days after the Warriors face the Clippers on Jan. 18 at Staples Center and then play the Lakers on Jan. 21 at the same venue.
What’s clear is that, barring a setback in the next two weeks, Cousins is expected to be on the court well before the February All-Star break, as some have speculated.
Coach Steve Kerr, addressing the media prior to the Warriors-Knicks game Tuesday night at Oracle Arena, said no firm timeline has been established for Cousins to play in a game.
“All I can tell is it’s closer now because the last week his scrimmaging looks much better,” Kerr said. “And it seems to me like he’s gotten through a barrier, conditioning-wise. And it’s not easy for anybody coming off an Achilles’ injury, much less a center that carries a lot of weight and size.”
Cousins ruptured his left Achilles’ tendon last Jan. 26 and underwent surgery five days later. He has spent the last 11 months recovering and rehabilitating, and the past two months scrimmaging at increasingly faster tempos.