While it took him a few years to develop into the player he is now, Kevon Looney has become a key part of the Warriors‘ success, with head coach Steve Kerr referring to him as “one of our foundational pieces,” per Anthony Slater of The Athletic.
“To be called a foundational piece, I never would’ve believed that,” Looney said. “Even when I was playing pretty good last season, I never would’ve taken it that far.”
With DeMarcus Cousins sidelined, Looney was Golden State’s most reliable non-Draymond Green big man against the Blazers in the second round, averaging 10.0 PPG and 6.5 RPG with a .783 FG% in 27.6 minutes per contest over the course of the Warriors’ sweep.
The next step for Looney? Unrestricted free agency. Coming off a minimum salary contract, Looney is in for a big raise, and it’ll be interesting to see how aggressively the Warriors attempt to retain him, with key players like Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson also up for new deals this offseason.
Here’s more from around the Pacific:
- The Warriors may have handled Portland without Kevin Durant, but Draymond Green said after last night’s win that they’ll need KD back for the NBA Finals, as Nick Friedell of ESPN.com relays. According to Friedell, the team remains “cautiously optimistic” that Durant will be available when the NBA Finals get underway on May 30.
- Magic Johnson‘s First Take appearance on Monday represented the second time that he has blindsided Lakers owner Jeanie Buss this spring, writes Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. As Shelburne explains, Johnson spoke to Buss multiple times in the wake of his abrupt resignation and never went into detail about the grievances he had with GM Rob Pelinka and the rest of the organization, but he didn’t hesitate to air those grievances on First Take this week.
- Buss ought to play a bigger public role on behalf of the Lakers as the team looks to move past its recent drama, opines Arash Markazi of The Los Angeles Times.
- In addition to Jamaal Franklin, whose participation was previously reported, the Kings are hosting a series of other familiar names at their free agent mini-camp on Tuesday, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando, who identifies Josh Huestis, Amida Brimah, Josh Gray, and a handful of other free agents as some of the attendees.