With DeMarcus Cousins signing for the MLE in Golden State, the NBA might just have become the most unforgiving sports league in America. But where is the Rockets’ place in it?
Somehow, a player managed to make his signing with a team the biggest news of an off-season that saw LeBron James sign with the Lakers.
Demarcus Cousins agreed to a one-year, $5.4 million deal with the Golden State Warriors on Monday, claiming after to have received zero offers from any other teams, including his former team in New Orleans (according to Marc J. Spears of ESPN).
It can really hurt to think that Houston could’ve had a shot at Boogie on the same deal had they just made a call, or that he could’ve at least ended up on a less Warriors-y team had he just waited a bit longer for alternative offers. But here we are.
With Boogie coming off an Achilles injury, no one can be sure what kind of production he’ll be bringing to the team this year, but it’s going to be difficult for him to not be an upgrade over Zaza Pachulia. The reigning back-to-back champions at least improved the only weakness on their roster, and in their best-case scenario signed a fifth all-star caliber and top 15 player in the NBA.
Those that felt competition in the NBA was dead when Kevin Durant joined Golden State in 2016 are really going to feel that way now. Regardless if fans still feel like there’s hope to defeat the Warriors’ big five, everyone is going to have to except that the odds aren’t in their favor.
How the Rockets fit into this
The Rockets are no exception to this. With Houston operating under limited cap room in an already thinned free agent market, It’s unlikely they’ll make any signings that will push the team to the next level. There are some trade scenarios that could potentially come to fruition and land Houston a third star, but everyone needs to be prepared to enjoy the team’s roster as is.
The Rockets will definitely remain competitive among non-Golden State teams even without any further major moves. They’ll remain a top-three team in the NBA and likely remain one of its best offenses of all time. Where the real entertainment value is going to come from- and this is true for every other team as well- will be more within game-to-game occurrences than from the big competitive picture.
Basketball is still entertaining for fans of the sport regardless of the weight of the games. Someone getting crossed up is still exciting to see even if it doesn’t win anybody a championship. The same goes for big dunks, dagger threes, and any other beautiful play you can dream up.
Houston is fortunate
Luckily for Houston fans, they have one of the best backcourts in the league to watch in James Harden and Chris Paul. It might feel like a consolation prize for most of the season, but we still get to watch them embarrass defenders time and again while in the back of our minds hoping they can be world beaters and take down the Warriors.
And at the end of the day, the championship window is always open. Boogie might not be such a league-altering acquisition, and Houston might end up making some big moves to put them over the hump regardless.
But even if things go sour, there are always some positives to hold onto, so don’t give up on your NBA fandom just yet.