LOS ANGELES • What can be better than having four National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Stars in your starting line-up? How about five?
Such is the prospect the Golden State Warriors face after centre DeMarcus Cousins agreed on Monday to sign a one-year deal worth US$5.3 million (S$7.2 million).
Cousins is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon but the 27-year-old will at some point next season line up alongside fellow All-Stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green.
A bigger question than when the reigning champions will get him on court - believed to be December or January - is the one on which version of Cousins will turn up.
One of the most versatile offensive centres in the league, Cousins was in the midst of possibly the best season of his career for the New Orleans Pelicans when his injury against the Houston Rockets in January ended his campaign.
An Achilles tear is perhaps the most brutal injury a basketballer can suffer, and it is unclear whether Cousins will be able to return to anything close to the force he was before the injury.
In 48 games last season, he averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists.
For all the talent Warriors coach Steve Kerr had on his roster in his first four terms, he has never had someone who averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds in a season. Cousins has achieved that for seven straight campaigns.
The Warriors did lose centre JaVale McGee in free agency to the Los Angeles Lakers, whose revamped line-up is beginning to take shape.
Four-time All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, who helped the Boston Celtics win the NBA title in 2008, has reportedly joined LeBron James in LA.
Players cannot officially sign contracts with teams until Friday under NBA free agency rules.
WASHINGTON POST, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE