Klay Thompson thinks DeMarcus Cousins will thrive with the Lakers.
Cousins was teammates with Thompson on the Warriors last season before he signed a one-year contract with Los Angeles this summer. Thompson praised Cousins during a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times.
“DeMarcus is a great teammate and I developed such a great chemistry with him, coming off screens and cutting off from posts,” Thompson said. “I’ll miss him. I know he’s going to be a huge asset for the Lakers. When they slow it down, he’s so good on the block and such a great decision maker. People don’t realize what a great decision maker he is. Above all, I love his will to compete.”
Cousins missed the Warriors’ first 45 games in 2018-19 as he continued to recover from a torn Achilles. He finished the regular season averaging 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds in 25.7 minutes per appearance. The 28-year-old center also tore his left quadriceps muscle and was out for most of the playoffs, although he returned for the NBA Finals, where the Warriors fell to the Raptors in six games.
“(Cousins) was very hurt last year during our finals run but he was still out there making a huge impact and getting double-doubles and he won us a couple games, honestly,” Thompson said. “He’s just such a gamer and I’m going to miss competing with him. L.A. got a very good player, who’s very hungry. I know he’s eager to get out there and show everybody he’s still one of the best players in the world because he has all the talent.”
Thompson, meanwhile, tore his ACL in Game 6 of the finals against Toronto and is expected to miss a large portion of 2019-20.
“I doubt I’ll be back before the All-Star break,” Thompson said. “But I want to be back this season.”
The Warriors also lost Kevin Durant to the Nets in free agency and traded Andre Iguodala to the Grizzlies this offseason.
“The West is so stacked, not just with the Lakers and Clippers but the Jazz made great moves, the Nuggets are young and upcoming, the Blazers have an amazing backcourt, the Rockets have a two-headed monster in the backcourt with two MVPs still in their prime,” Thompson said. “So it’s going to be tough for us, but I assume I’m going to be on the court at some point and hopefully I’ll hit the ground running and we’ll be in playoff contention. That’s all we need is just a shot.”
Golden State managed to offset the loss of Durant, somewhat, by acquiring guard D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade. He’ll likely slot into the Warriors’ backcourt next to star Stephen Curry with Thompson sidelined.