It's extremely difficult to get a read on what the Warriors' roster will look like next season, given all of the marquee players destined for free agency, some of whom will be recovering from serious injuries.
DeMarcus Cousins knows that existence all too well. He's set to become an unrestricted free agent on June 30, having spent a large portion of the past season working his way back from a torn Achilles and torn quadriceps.
The Achilles injury was a major factor in bringing Cousins to Golden State. As it turns out, the quadriceps injury, as well as the ruptured Achilles and torn ACL suffered by Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, respectively, could prove to be major factors in keeping him there for at least another season.
While Cousins flashed his pre-injury form sporadically throughout his first season with the Warriors, his consistency was severely lacking, and certain areas of his game were clearly diminished. His shortcomings were exposed in the Finals against the Raptors, and while there's a lot of money available to be spent in free agency, some believe that Cousins won't receive the kind of deal he's been hoping for.
"I doubt he gets what he wants," one anonymous NBA executive told Bleacher Report's Yaron Weitzman.
If that's the case, and Cousins doesn't get an offer that blows him away, could he return to the Warriors for the inaugural season at Chase Center?
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was asked about the potential of bringing Cousins back for another season last week, and was very open to the idea, but didn't expect it to be a realistic possibility.
"I would say the hope is, frankly, that he can do a lot better financially than what we could offer him. But who knows? Every year is different," Kerr said last Friday. "We have to figure out our own situation, particularly with Klay [Thompson] and Kevin [Durant] and how all that shakes out.
"But I could absolutely foresee a place for DeMarcus here if he wanted to come back," Kerr continued. "It's just a question of what are his goals? What's out there for him?"
If the anonymous executive is correct in their assumption, Cousins might not have a more appealing option than what the Warriors are able to offer. And, depending on what his goals are, a renewed partnership might be even more logical.
Let's say Cousins doesn't receive any offers in free agency to his liking. If he's then intent on proving his doubters wrong and putting himself in the best situation possible to showcase his resurgence, the Warriors would seem to make a ton of sense, just as they did a year ago.
With both Durant and Thompson expected to miss most or all of next season while recovering from their respective injuries, that's going to leave a massive void in the Warriors' scoring arsenal. Stephen Curry can't be expected to do it all on his own, and -- if healthy -- Cousins might be the perfect kind of complement to help carry the load.
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Of course, given how depleted Golden State's roster already is, the idea of placing a big bet on a big man still working his way back from a couple of major injuries is, well, a bit scary.
It's got to make sense for both sides. But it might work out that another year of Cousins in a Warriors uniform accomplishes exactly that.