Six months ago New Orleans Pelicans star DeMarcus Cousins intended to sign a US$170 million (NZ$251m) contract over five years.

Then he injured his Achilles in January.

The Pelicans reportedly offered him a downgraded deal of US$40 million (NZ$59m) for two years. Which he turned down, according to the New York Times.

When NBA's free agency opened this week the 27-year-old centre made the stunning decision to sign with the defending champion Golden State Warriors - for US$5.3 million (NZ$7.8m) for one year.

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When Boogie returns to the court this season, the volatile big man will give the Golden State Warriors five 2018 All-Stars in their starting lineup to chase another title — with Cousins trying for his first after never appearing in the playoffs.

Cousins is set to join a starting lineup of two-time MVP Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, who is fresh off his second straight NBA Finals MVP, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

"The 3rd splash Brother," Curry posted on Twitter with a series of happy crying emojis. "Let's go @boogiecousins."

Cousins' Pelicans lost to the Warriors in a five-game Western Conference semifinals while Cousins was injured. The 27-year-old Cousins played in New Orleans for coach Alvin Gentry, a top assistant for Steve Kerr when the Golden State won the 2015 championship — the franchise's first title in 40 years — and still a close friend and confidant of Golden State's head coach.

Cousins tore his Achilles in late January and underwent surgery. He has posted regular updates on social media with the hash tags "The Resurgence" and "0 Doubt."

"I been grinding since a youngin in the trenches this ain't nothing new to me," he wrote last month on Twitter .

It's likely he won't be completely recovered until the second half of next season. His plan is to land a big contract next summer - as well as a first championship.

- With AP