Warriors

Steve Kerr makes it clear: DeMarcus Cousins is one-and-done with Warriors

Steve Kerr makes it clear: DeMarcus Cousins is one-and-done with Warriors

OAKLAND -- Though no date has been set for the on-court trial of Boogie Cousins and the Warriors, the timeline for its conclusion is firmly established.

Cousins will be with the Warriors until their postseason ends, which can be no later than next June 16, the date of Game 7 of The Finals.

“We made no bones about it when we signed him,” coach Steve Kerr said Thursday. “It’s a one-year deal. We’re not going to have money to sign him next year. He knows that. So we’d like him to help us win a championship. And we’d like to help him get a great contract next year, somewhere else.”

It’s one-and-done, as it should be.

That’s the deal Cousins made when he decided, coming off surgery on his Achilles’ tendon, to join the defending champions at the discounted rate of $5.3 million. He wants to prove he's still fabulous on the court while simultaneously convincing skeptics that he’s not a liability in the locker room.

[RELATED: Cousins in 'David West role']

In the meantime, there’s no point in pulling out a calculator and trying to uncover a way to fit Cousins onto the roster next season. The Warriors have their 2019-20 priorities set, and their names are Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson

As Kerr was speaking, Cousins was on the practice floor running a 4-on-4 scrimmage with a collection of young Warriors players and staffers, along with a few others that have closed the books on their NBA careers.

“Generally what you see out there is what’s going to happen: some rookies, some coaches, some has-beens,” Kerr half-joked, noting that veteran rotation players rarely scrimmage during the season.

Neither the Warriors nor Cousins are ready to issue a timeline for his return, but every day he can chug up and down the court brings him closer to the possibility of a return, perhaps as soon as next month.

“Conditioning-wise he’s still got a ways to go,” Kerr said. “I love how far he’s come. But I don’t want people to get idea that he’s getting close to coming back. It’s still going to be some time.”

Initial projections had Cousins returning after the mid-February All-Star break. Given his rate of recovery and how far along he is on rehab, it’s almost certain he’ll return before then.

“What he’s been able to do in practice hasn’t been substantial, but he playing live action and ramping it up,” Stephen Curry said. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take for him to take the next steps, but having him out there, having him as a part of practice, is huge for us and huge for his morale I’m sure.”

Kerr has indicated Cousins initially will play limited minutes off the bench. If all goes well, he could move into the starting lineup and, certainly, the closing lineup.

How many games might Boogie’s Warriors career last? He’s likely to play no more than 50, maybe as few as 25, in the regular season.

As for 2019-20, the number drops to zero. There is no room on the payroll.

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 129-124 OT road loss to Blazers

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 129-124 OT road loss to Blazers

BOX SCORE

PORTLAND -- The Warriors and Blazers matchup has provided plenty of memorable moments in the last decade. 

Now, even with both teams out of the playoff picture, they provided another thriller Monday night, with the Blazers (19-26) winning 129-124 in overtime at Moda Center. 

Along the way, Oakland-native Damian Lillard scored career-high 61 points, overcoming a balanced offensive effort from Eric Paschall, Alec Burks and D'Angelo Russell. 

After Lillard hit a 3-pointer to force overtime, the Blazers outscored Golden State 16-11 in the extra session, capped by two free throws from Lillard to seal the loss. In a season defined by injury, Monday's loss provided several lessons for the young core.

Here are the takeaways from a loss that gives the Warriors a 10-35 record:

Burks shines

With Russell struggling early and the Warriors failing to make any 3-pointers in the first quarter, an offensive spark was needed. By the end of the night, Burks provided that, scoring 33 points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out eight assists. 

Burks started early, scoring Golden State's first nine points of the contest, becoming the lone bright spot in a quarter the Warriors shot 32.1 percent from the field. Down the stretch, he hit timely shots to combat Lillard's huge night. 

The performance was on brand for Burks, who came into Monday's game averaging 16.4 points over his last eight games. With most of Golden State's reputable scoring options on the bench, Burks will need to continue his current level of play for the team to have a chance. 

Marquese Chriss flies around

For the last week, Chriss has been adjusting to life as a two-way player, skipping most practices to preserve his active days on the roster. On Monday, he showed little sign of rust, scoring 14 points and pulling down six rebounds. 

Chriss was especially good in the second quarter, scoring six points in seven minutes, helping the Warriors take a 12-point lead. As he's shown throughout the season,  Chriss can be a difference-maker, especially as a lob threat. Under his current contract, he can prove to be a long-term difference maker. At his current pace, he's on track to do so. 

What rookie wall?

Recently, Paschall has been hearing questions about the drop from his early-season performance, prompting murmurs that he's hitting a "rookie wall." In the last week, he's momentarily quelled the noise, providing another strong display against the Blazers.

In 42 minutes, he scored 22 points and secured 13 rebounds. Paschall was especially good in the third quarter, scoring 10 points during the stretch, helping the Warriors take a five-point lead into the fourth quarter. 

The performance was indicative of Paschall's recent play. Entering Monday's game, he averaged 17.3 points and 5.7 rebounds over his last three games. If his latest output was any indication, he looks to be right back on track in his rookie season.

Charles Barkley calls Steph Curry, Klay Thompson 'Stay and Kleph'

Charles Barkley calls Steph Curry, Klay Thompson 'Stay and Kleph'

Charles Barkley needs to put some respect on Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

But first, he needs to figure out how to say their names correctly.

At halftime of the Warriors-Blazers game, the TNT analyst was trying to say "Steph and Klay." Instead, he said this:

It was probably just a slip of the tongue, but considering it came from Barkley, Warriors fans wouldn't be faulted for thinking this was just another slight from the zero-time NBA champion.

All throughout the Warriors' five-year NBA Finals run, Barkley routinely criticized them. He kept saying a jump-shooting team couldn't win a championship (there's so many things wrong with that statement.)

Just last week, Barkley took a shot at Draymond Green, saying "Draymond don't talk as much since he's averaging that triple single."

On opening night in October, Thompson joined the TNT crew for their halftime show and Barkley told the All-Star shooting guard the Warriors wouldn't make the playoffs.

[RELATED: Steph targeting March 1 return]

In the end, Steph and Klay will always have the last laugh over Barkley. They have three rings (and counting). He has none.

Do you know how to say "none" correctly, Chuck?