Why DeMarcus Cousins could re-sign with the Warriors in free agency

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It looks like Kawhi Leonard's decision will have a big impact on where Boogie ends up.
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Why DeMarcus Cousins could re-sign with the Warriors in free agency originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com

DeMarcus Cousins became an unrestricted free agent on Sunday, and he still is available on the open market.

The Knicks reportedly contemplated giving Boogie a "considerable" one-year contract if they missed out on Kevin Durant. Well, they lost the KD sweepstakes but didn't extend the big man an offer.

"His market has been really thin," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Tuesday morning on "Get Up!" "His hope had been that teams who had significant salary cap space -- who missed out on their No. 1 priority, their No. 2 priority -- might turn to him even on a one-year deal.

"And he'd be able to get a $12 [million], $15 [million] $18 [million], $20 million annual deal. That money simply isn't out there for Boogie Cousins. And certainly it looks like he'll be back on a one-year deal somewhere and probably even below the mid-level exception."

The mid-level exception is about $9.3 million and the taxpayer mid-level exception is about $5.7 million.

The Warriors entered free agency with the ability to give Cousins a maximum of about $6.4 million -- a 20 percent raise on his salary last year. But based on the reported D'Angelo Russell sign-and-trade deal and Kevon Looney reportedly agreeing to a new contract, Golden State can no longer offer that much.

Based on the current roster/salary cap situation, it looks like the Dubs would only be able to retain the four-time All-star on a one-year contract either at the minimum (just over $2.3 million) or slightly above.

There actually still is hope for Cousins, however, to secure a bigger payday. If Kawhi Leonard stays in Toronto or signs with the Clippers, the Lakers would have $32 million in cap space and could throw some big money at Cousins.

If Kawhi signs with the Lakers, the Clippers could sign Cousins as well.

But if the LA teams pass up on the two-time All-NBA selection, would he come back for a second campaign with the Dubs? With Kevin Durant headed to the Knicks and Klay Thompson expected to miss most of the 2019-20 season as he recovers from his torn left ACL, Cousins would have a huge role.

Perhaps that's the best route for him to re-elevate his value and then strike next summer.

Boogie's current predicament makes you think back to what Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters on June 14:

"I would say that the hope is that frankly he can do a lot better financially than what we could offer him. But who knows. Every year is different. There are a lot more teams with cap room this summer.

"I could absolutely foresee a place for DeMarcus here if he wanted to come back. It's just a question of what are his goals, what is out there for him."

The NBA is wild.

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