The Golden State Warriors’ recruitment of DeMarcus Cousins is officially underway.
Or rather, Draymond Green’s recruitment of Boogie is off and running.
From ESPN.com’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss:
“I think DeMarcus is the best center in the game,” Draymond Green assessed after the game. “I think a lot of times people don’t give him that credit. And a part of it is they try to downplay his status because of his reputation or getting technical fouls or things like that.” Green continued, “He is the best big man in the game hands down.”
Green, who played alongside Cousins in the 2016 Olympics, continued, said of Cousins’ manifold skills: “It’s always interesting to watch, interesting to play against, interesting to play with, because he’s so incredibly talented. He’s skilled. He can shoot the 3 now; over the last couple years he added that to his game.
No arguments here.
Anthony Davis could certainly challenge Cousins for the rights to the hypothetical best-big-man crown. Karl-Anthony Towns, Kristaps Porzingis and Nikola Jokic will surely contend for this honor down the line.
Right now, though, it’s between Cousins and David. And Cousins has the edge because of his passing and three-point range. Davis is the better overall defender—just look at what he’s doing for the New Orleans Pelicans defense this season—but he’s not the passer that Cousins is, and he’s not yet stepping out beyond the arc with the same regularity.
Cousins leads all centers in PER by a mile, and he’s third in box plus-minus, according to Basketball-Reference, despite playing a ton of minutes and representing a cruddy Sacramento Kings squad. His play style, simply put, is unrivaled. That makes up for any character deficiencies he may have, not to mention the run of irrelevance he’s endured since being drafted by the Kings.
So yeah, it’s sensible to agree with Draymond here, especially given how engaged Cousins has, by and large, been on the defensive end this season. He’s the NBA’s best center, and it’s on Davis and the rest of the Association’s towers to catch him.