In Wake of Damian Jones Injury, Warriors May Not Make a Move, and Here's Why

Insofar as the unfortunate news regarding center Damian Jones does not hasten the return of DeMarcus Cousins, the Warriors will spend the next week or more patching a role that has been problematic for much of the season.

The starting center in 22 of the team's 24 games, Jones sustained a torn left pectoral muscle Saturday in the third quarter of the game at Detroit and could miss the rest of the season.

Cousins is getting closer, according to coach Steve Kerr, but there still is no timetable for his Warriors debut.

"DeMarcus is making some strides," Kerr told reporters Sunday after practice in Detroit. "He's looked a lot better to me the last couple days, the intensity of his workouts. We didn't do any scrimmaging or anything today, but he took part in every aspect of our practice. He's making some strides, which is exciting."

Until Cousins is ready to play, the center position that was had been divided among three young players now falls mostly into the hands of two: Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell.

Looney, a 6-foot-9 UCLA product, has made two starts and has, in most ways, been the team's best center. Though he lacks the athleticism of Jones and Bell, Looney is fundamentally sound, disciplined and a vastly superior rebounder.

Bell, also 6-9, is a better athlete than Looney but has not been a better basketball player. The Oregon product has sprinkled in a few spectacular moments among many disappointing plays.

"We'll check on our options and see what we want to do," Kerr said, adding that he and general manager Bob Myers had not discussed what, if any, move might be made.

Whether Cousins is close to returning or not, there is a chance the Warriors won't make a move – and if they did, it would be for short-term reasons.

In addition to Looney and Bell, there will be moments when power forward Draymond Green, out with a toe injury but expected back soon, gets minutes at center. The same applies to power forward Jonas Jerebko.

Power forward Marcus Derrickson was called up from G-League Santa Cruz and will be available Monday, when the Warriors face the Hawks in Atlanta.

Looney and Bell can hold it down for at least the next two games, with lowly Cleveland following Atlanta.

With Cousins participating in everything the Warriors have been doing, other than playing in actual games, it seems he could be cleared any day. If that's the case, there's no acute need to chase a player whose value will diminish so quickly.

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