If you've ever been around Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob for any amount of time, you know that he is a fidgeter.
The Warriors were able to sign Cousins as a free agent despite being tens of millions of dollars over the cap thanks to one of the NBA's many salary-cap loopholes: in this case, the mid-level exception, or MLE.
Cousins does come with some risk, though. Back then, though, the National Basketball Association had only 18 teams, compared to today's 30, making the Warriors' quintet that much more awesome.
A healthy Cousins in the lineup would nearly certainly mean the Warriors improve on last year's performance, too, which included 58 regular-season wins and their second straight title that was capped with a sweep of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"Keep in mind he had that Achilles injury right after the all-star break and, in the back of his mind, he wondered if it would affect him majorly in free agency, and it did", Spears said during an ESPN segment shortly after the reported Cousins news broke.More news: Some Democrats with eye on 2020: 'Abolish ICE'
Cousins agreed to a $5.3 million, one-year contract as he continues to recover from a season-ending torn Achilles tendon injury he suffered January 26. Clearly, Cousins didn't regard those exploratory talks as a real offer.
Lacob, league sources say, squirmed while his Western Conference rivals appeared to be making upgrades as the Warriors stood pat, particularly the Oklahoma City Thunder, who retained Paul George and added center Nerlens Noel. This wasn't a Golden State power play; it was a moment of clarity from a free agent whose max-money prospects dissolved into thin air.
LeBron James shook up the basketball world on Sunday when he spurned the Sixers and Cavaliers to strike a four-year, $153.3 million contract with the Lakers.
The Warriors couldn't give Cousins the contract he wanted, but they could offer most everything else.