Kevon Looney was an important force for the Golden State Warriors during the playoffs. He set career highs in points, rebounds, and helped to lock down the opposing big men.
The center, which is often injured, needs an even larger follow-up in the next season.
Finally at full health ,Looney played in all 82 contests for the first time in his career — starting 80 of them — and ended the season scoring 6 points per game while grabbing a career-high 7.3 rebounds. Though the Warriors hope to gradually increase the role for young center James Wiseman in the coming season, Looney will be the incumbent starter and said he’s hoping to have a career-best season.
Looney Wants Leaguewide Attention
As Monte Poole from NBC Sports Bay Area reported, Looney anticipates seeing a slight increase in his minutes in the coming season and moving back into his role as the team’s primary rebounder and defensive force.
Looney said to the outlet that his defensive game, one of the most versatile among NBA big-men, is a priority for him.
“With the veil of his significance to the Warriors – his name will appear on opposing team scouting reports – Looney this week told NBC Sports Bay Area that one of his goals is to earn All-Defensive team attention,”Poole wrote. “He is one of the few centers that typically holds his own against big men in the paint and also switches out onto the perimeter.”
Looney’s return could be crucial for the Warriors, who are short on traditional big men. The team lost Nemanja Bilica and Otto Porter Jr. and Wiseman will be returning from a knee injury that ended his rookie season and his second year in NBA. The Warriors expect Wiseman to progress slowly, despite his great potential.
Looney-loving Warriors Make a Major Commitment to Their Country
After the Warriors beat the Boston Celtics to win their fourth championship in eight seasons, the front office had many difficult roster decisions to make. The Warriors could not match the deals they received from Toronto Raptors and Portland Trail Blazers free agents Gary Payton II, Porter.
Looney was also a free-agent and the team decided to bring him back. The team signed Looney, a 26-year-old center, to a reported three-year deal worth $25.5 million.
Looney was also endorsed by Steve Kerr, the Warriors head coach. Kerr made it clear that Looney would continue to be the starting center.
“[Looney] will come back as the starter,”Kerr said, “Personal.” Anthony Slater from The Athletic. “He has earned that and then some. We’re all thrilled that he’s back. There was a real fear that we’d lose him. To get him back is massive for our team. It sets up well for Loon to continue what he did for us last year. In doing so, he’s really a good mentor for [Wiseman].”
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