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Warriors Rumors: Kevon Looney Re-Signs with GSW on 3-Year, $15M Contract

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 2, 2019

Golden State Warriors forward Kevon Looney (5) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Free-agent big man Kevon Looney will re-sign with the Golden State Warriors on a three-year, $15 million deal, according to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

Looney, 23, averaged 6.3 points on 62.5 percent shooting and 5.2 rebounds in 80 games this season. He averaged 18.5 minutes per contest and started 24 times.

Per ESPN.com, the ex-UCLA Bruin finished seventh among qualified centers in offensive real plus-minus. He also contributed defensively, winding up 26th on that end.

Looney has shown a penchant for coming up big in the playoffs when given the opportunity. Of note, the 6'9", 220-pound big man made a series of clutch plays (including a key offensive rebound leading to a Klay Thompson three-pointer) that helped lead the Warriors to a second-round victory over the Houston Rockets after Kevin Durant missed the end of Game 5 and all of Game 6 with a right calf strain.

Furthermore, he gutted through a non-displaced first costal cartilage fracture suffered in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Looney was initially ruled out indefinitely but missed just one full contest. He notably returned for Game 4 and added 10 points and six rebounds before finishing out the series.

The big man's career got off to a rocky start after the Dubs picked him in the first round of the 2015 NBA draft. Multiple hip injuries forced him off the court for nearly the entire 2015-16 season, but those ailments are ancient history now: Looney played 80 of 82 games last year while posting career-best marks.

Looney is a player on the rise who should continue to provide positive contributions to the lineup.

As far as the Warriors' frontcourt situation outside Looney goes, Golden State's only big man under contract is Damian Jones, who has one year left on his deal.

The 7'0" center, who was Golden State's first-round pick in 2016, averaged 5.4 points on 71.6 percent shooting and 3.1 rebounds in 24 games. He opened as the team's starting center but suffered a torn left pectoral muscle in December and didn't return until the playoffs—in which he only played eight minutes. Still, Jones showed potential in limited action and could build off that in 2019-20.

Draymond Green can also play some small-ball 5, although the 6'7" forward spends most of his time at the 4.

Ultimately, this is a huge win for the Warriors even though Looney has never averaged 20 minutes per game for them. The clutch performer is getting better each year, and there's reason to believe that trend will continue.

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