Los Angeles: DeMarcus Cousins, who is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, has reportedly agreed to a one-year contract with the defending champion Golden State Warriors, US media reported on Monday.
Cousins is expected to sign a $5.3 million deal which will allow him to join a team that was already a heavy favourite to repeat as champions and now boasts a starting lineup that would rival many starting all-star game squads, American broadcaster ESPN reported.
When he is ready to return, Cousins will take the court with two-time reigning playoff MVP Kevin Durant, two-time regular season MVP Stephen Curry, three-time NBA champion Klay Thompson and three-time NBA all-star Draymond Green.
"The 3rd splash Brother .... Let's go @boogiecousins," Curry tweeted on Monday night.
Players cannot officially sign contracts with teams until Friday under NBA free agency rules.
In 48 games with the New Orleans Pelicans last season, Cousins averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists. He suffered a severe left Achilles tendon injury on January 26 against the Houston Rockets.
Cousins, 27, is expected to be ready to play by December or January.
"This is my ace of spades. This is my chess move," he told ESPN.
The Los Angeles Lakers, who agreed to a four-year, $154 million deal with free agent LeBron James on Sunday, were also trying to lure Cousins to southern California.
The Warriors did lose centre JaVale McGee in free agency to the Lakers.
All-Star guard Rondo joins LeBron's revamped Lakers
Rajon Rondo, who helped the Boston Celtics win an NBA title in 2008, has reportedly joined James on the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday as a revamped line-up begins to take shape.
Four-time All-Star Rondo, a 32-year-old point guard, who has made stops in Boston, Dallas, Sacramento and Chicago, averaged 8.3 points, 8.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds a game last season for New Orleans.
ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The Los Angeles Times and New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Rondo will sign a one-year deal with the Lakers for $9 million after releasing forward Julius Randle to free up space under the NBA salary cap.
Lakers legend Kobe Bryant said he personally welcomed James to the organisation on Sunday.
"I told him, 'Welcome to the family, man.' It sounds crazy but I said, 'Dude you are part of the family now. So anything you need on my end, I got you,'" Bryant said. "Now it is somebody else's time. And that is what the Lakers have always been about."
Even as an iconic 10-story banner of James is about to be removed from a Cleveland building, the Lakers began filling out the roster for next season, agreeing to one-year deals with swingman Lance Stephenson, guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and center McGee.
Cavs fans feel the pain
Meanwhile, back in Cleveland, the city James departed for a second time is moving quickly to say goodbye to James after a departure, having suffered through similar pains when he left the Cavaliers in 2010 for the Miami Heat.
This time, response has been less heated than the jersey-burning anger that erupted from his home region. James did return in 2014 and led the Cavs to the 2016 NBA title, ending a 52-year sports championship drought for Cleveland, before departing for the Lakers in the wake of four consecutive NBA Finals appearances for Cleveland.
Sherwin-Williams told the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Monday that the 10-story banner featuring James on the side of its world headquarters building will be removed this week by advertiser Nike.
It stood across from the Cavaliers home arena and became something of a tourist attraction for sports fans visiting the city. The banner went up after James returned from Miami to the Cavs in 2014.
Stephenson, 27, joins his seventh NBA club since joining the league in 2010. He averaged 9.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists a game for Indiana last season, his first campaign without missing a game.
Caldwell-Pope, 25, played four seasons for Detroit before joining the Lakers last season, when he averaged 13.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals a game.
McGee, 30, was a reserve on the Golden State Warriors' NBA championship teams the past two seasons. The 7-footer (2.13m) has career averages of 7.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots a game.
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Updated Date: Jul 03, 2018 10:14:34 IST