Kevon Looney

Celtics Sign Enes Kanter To Two-Year Deal

JULY 17: The Celtics have officially signed Kanter, the team announced today (via Twitter).

JULY 1: The Celtics have agreed to terms with free agent center Enes Kanter on a two-year deal with a second-year player option, his manager Hank Fetic announced today (via Twitter). According to Ian Begley of SNY.tv (via Twitter), Kanter’s new contract will be worth nearly $10MM, so it projects to fit into Boston’s room exception.

Kanter, 27, has spent time with the Jazz, Thunder, Knicks, and Trail Blazers since entering the league as the third overall pick in the 2011 draft. Last season, he was bought out with the Knicks in February and signed in Portland for the rest of the season. In 67 total games, he averaged 13.7 PPG and 9.8 RPG in 24.5 minutes per contest.

Kanter boosted his stock down the stretch by taking over as the Blazers’ starting center after Jusuf Nurkic broke his leg. Kanter averaged 11.4 PPG and 9.7 RPG in 16 postseason contests. Portland agreed to acquire Hassan Whiteside in a trade with Miami earlier today, signaling that the club didn’t expect to bring back Kanter.

Having agree to acquire Kemba Walker using their cap room, the Celtics had been on the lookout for a big man with their $4.8MM room exception. They were linked to Kanter and Kevon Looney on Saturday, though Looney’s agent tells Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald (Twitter link) that he didn’t hear from the C’s.

While Kanter will help improve the Celtics’ interior scoring and rebounding numbers, he’s not considered an elite defender, so the team will have some work to do in its frontcourt to make up for the departures of Al Horford and Aron Baynes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Warriors Re-Sign Kevon Looney To Three-Year Deal

JULY 11: The Warriors have officially re-signed Looney, the team confirmed today in a press release.

JULY 2: Looney’s new deal features a third-year player option, tweets Mark Medina of The Mercury News.

JULY 1: The Warriors will bring back free agent big man Kevon Looney, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the two sides have agreed to a three-year, $15MM deal. As Charania details (via Twitter), the Warriors met with Looney over the weekend and reached an agreement with him and agent Todd Ramasar on Monday.

Looney, the 30th overall pick in the 2015 draft, hasn’t put up huge numbers during his four seasons in Golden State, but he has becoming an increasingly important part of the team’s rotation in recent years.

In 2018/19, the 23-year-old averaged 6.3 PPG and 5.2 RPG on 62.5% shooting in 80 games (18.5 MPG) for the Warriors. While he generally came off the bench, he emerged as the team’s most reliable center in the postseason due to his ability to switch on defense and hold his own against perimeter players.

The Warriors held Looney’s Bird rights this offseason, which gave them the ability to offer him any salary up to the max. However, by acquiring D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade deal with the Nets, Golden State will face a hard cap of $138.9MM, the amount of the tax apron.

It wasn’t clear whether the Warriors would find a way to squeeze Looney – arguably their most important free agent beyond Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant – below that hard cap, since he appeared likely to receive plenty of interest on the open market. However, the Dubs got a good price to bring him back, and will presumably fill most of the rest of their roster with minimum-salary contracts to sneak below that $138.9MM threshold.

Bobby Marks of ESPN.com goes into detail on just how close the Warriors project to come to that hard cap.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agency Rumors: Mavs, Rockets, Bulls, Wolves, C’s

It was a quiet first day of free agency for the Mavericks, but the team still has some irons in the fire and plenty of cap flexibility to work with.

Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News tweets that he believes the Mavericks are “in the driver’s seat” with Danny Green, though he cautions that could change if Kawhi Leonard decides to stay in Toronto — Green could join him in that scenario.

Besides Green, Townsend identifies Kevon Looney, DeMarcus Cousins, Willie Cauley-Stein, Seth Curry, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as some potential free agent targets to watch for the Mavericks.

Let’s round up a few more notes and rumors related to free agency…

  • The Rockets will be among the teams with interest in Andre Iguodala if the Grizzlies elect to buy out the veteran swingman, sources tell Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Iguodala is being sent to Memphis from Golden State in a cap-clearing move.
  • Having used their cap room to land Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky, the Bulls will be in the market for a shooter or another big man with some or all of their room exception ($4.8MM), tweets K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune.
  • The Timberwolves missed out on top free agent target D’Angelo Russell, but did speak to their own RFA point guard Tyus Jones on Sunday, sources tell Jon Krawcznyski of The Athletic, who speculates that a Jones reunion may be more likely with D-Lo off the table.
  • In the wake of their sign-and-trade agreement for Kemba Walker, the Celtics are still working to determine which mid-level exception they’ll have at their disposal, tweets Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald.

Free Agency Rumors: Leonard, Oubre Jr, Looney, Bullock, Green

Former Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson had a positive conversation with star free agent Kawhi Leonard and his uncle Dennis Robertson on Sunday, Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times report.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka reached out to Leonard at the start of free agency, according to the report, with Los Angeles focused on adding Leonard to a roster that already includes star players LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Leonard’s camp originally requested that the Lakers only send owner Jeanie Buss to any potential meeting, but the group is now considering adding Pelinka to the equation, according to Ganguli and Turner. It’s widely believed that the Clippers, Lakers and Raptors are the front-runners for his services.

Here are some other free agent rumors tonight:

Rockets, Bulls To Meet With Kevon Looney

7:32pm: Looney also has a meeting with the Bulls tomorrow, Medina tweets.

7:02pm: The Rockets will meet with free agent center Kevon Looney tomorrow, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. Houston officials are delivering their free agency pitches in Los Angeles, which is where Looney will also talk to the Warriors and possibly several other teams, according to Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link).

Looney, 23, emerged as a rotation player for Golden State in his fourth NBA season, averaging 6.3 PPG and 5.2 RPG in 18.5 minutes per night. Coach Steve Kerr called him a “foundational piece” during the playoffs, Stein recalls (Twitter link), and that’s especially true now that starting center DeMarcus Cousins is a free agent.

The Rockets need help in the middle after Nene announced today that he will opt out of the final season of his contract. Houston also reportedly has a deal in place involving starting center Clint Capela if the team can land Jimmy Butler from the Sixers in a sign-and-trade.

The Celtics and Pelicans are other teams that have shown interest in Looney.

Charania’s Latest: Nets, D-Lo, Durant, Livingston, More

Kyrie Irving remains “fully focused” on a potential deal with the Nets, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who says Brooklyn’s goal is to sign the trio of Irving, Kevin Durant, and DeAndre Jordan. If they can get Irving but Durant heads elsewhere, the Nets could shift their focus to players like Tobias Harris or Julius Randle, Charania writes.

As for D’Angelo Russell, league sources tell Charania that the expectation is the Nets will either renounce D-Lo’s rights or try to complete a sign-and-trade deal that sends him elsewhere. A sign-and-trade would be complicated, since Brooklyn may prefer to use its cap room on free agents rather than trade pieces in return for Russell.

Here’s more from Charania:

  • Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers is tentatively scheduled to travel to New York this weekend to meet with Kevin Durant and his inner circle, league sources tell Charania. Durant is also expected to talk to the Knicks, Nets, and Clippers, though no formal meetings have been set, says Charania, who adds that there’s a belief that KD has considered the possibility of teaming up with Kawhi Leonard.
  • Shaun Livingston, who originally had a guarantee date of June 30 on his contract, has agreed to push that date back to July 10, reports Charania. Livingston has a partial guarantee of $2MM on his $7.7MM salary, and the Warriors now have more time to decide whether to retain him at that price.
  • With Kemba Walker appearing likely to sign elsewhere, the Hornets are focusing on other point guards like Terry Rozier, sources tell Charania. It’s not clear if Charlotte believes the mid-level would be enough to land Rozier, or if the team would attempt a sign-and-trade.
  • The Sixers remain “fully focused” on trying to re-sign Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, according to Charania, who notes that rival teams interested in Butler believe the fifth year Philadelphia can offer will be a major factor for the swingman and agent Bernie Lee. If the 76ers don’t offer that fifth year, it’s possible the market for Butler will open up.
  • The Knicks have targeted free agent center Robin Lopez as a potential backup for Mitchell Robinson, league sources tell Charania.
  • The Celtics intend to pursue a big man using their $4.8MM room exception, with Enes Kanter and Kevon Looney among their targets, per Charania.

Free Agent Rumors: Knicks, Pelicans, Looney, Satoransky, More

Following up on recent reports that have linked the team to Julius Randle and Bobby Portis, Ian Begley of SNY.tv confirms that the Knicks will have “strong interest” in those young bigs if they can’t land their top free agent targets. However, as we’ve heard repeatedly in recent days, New York prefers not to offer contracts longer than two years to its secondary targets, according to Begley, who acknowledges that either Randle or Portis could get a longer-term offer from another team.

Begley also confirms that the Knicks have weighed the idea of pursuing DeMarcus Cousins in free agency, as was previously reported. According to Begley though, some in the organization have indicated that going after a younger player like Randle or Portis is a higher priority than pursuing Cousins, who is entering his age-29 season.

  • The Pelicans are among the teams expected to show interest in free agent big man Kevon Looney, writes former Sporting News reporter Sean Deveney (Facebook link). As Deveney notes, New Orleans will have cap flexibility and could use another veteran big man in the frontcourt with Anthony Davis and potentially Julius Randle departing.
  • Tomas Satoransky, who will become a restricted free agent after receiving a qualifying offer from the Wizards, is expected to receive interest from the Mavericks, Pacers, Magic, and Celtics, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. According to Hughes, the Jazz also had Satoransky on their list of targets before swinging a deal for Mike Conley. I’d imagine the Celtics would be out of the running as well if they can land Kemba Walker.
  • Appearing on a recent ESPN podcast with Zach Lowe, Brian Windhorst said he got word a month ago that the Spurs were interested in free agent forward Bojan Bogdanovic. As Windhorst notes though, San Antonio doesn’t have the cap room to make a play for Bogdanovic and would need to make a cost-cutting move for it to be a realistic possibility.

Rockets Eyeing Danny Green, Jeremy Lamb, Others

While Jimmy Butler is the Rockets‘ “dream addition,” the team has its eye on a number of other potential targets in free agency, writes Sam Amick of The Athletic.

[RELATED: Rockets to pursue sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler]

A source with knowledge of the Rockets’ plans tells Amick that Danny Green, Jeremy Lamb, Al-Farouq Aminu, DeAndre Jordan, Brook Lopez, and Kevon Looney are among the veteran free agents that have piqued the club’s interest.

General manager Daryl Morey has indicated that the Rockets would like to add a third star to complement James Harden and Chris Paul, whose supposedly “unsalvageable” relationship was referred to as “fake news” by P.J. Tucker within Amick’s story. Multiple reports have identified Butler as the team’s most likely target.

However, there are a number of roadblocks standing in the way of acquiring Butler — the Sixers would have to agree to a sign-and-trade, a third team would likely have to be involved due to Base Year Compensation rules, and Houston’s ability to fill out a roster around Harden, Paul, and Butler would be extremely limited due to a hard cap. And, of course, Butler would have to want to go to Houston badly enough to try to make it all work.

If the Rockets strike out on Butler, they’re more likely to simply operate as an over-the-cap team and make use of the mid-level exception to add another rotation player to their core. Depending on the club’s proximity to the tax apron, that mid-level could either be worth about $9.25MM (full) or $5.71MM (taxpayer).

That’s where the free agents listed above would come in to play, though even some of those guys – including Green, Lamb, and Lopez – may be out of reach with the mid-level (especially the taxpayer MLE) unless they’re willing to take a bit of a discount. All the players named by Amick will be unrestricted free agents this summer.

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Looney, Cousins, Livingston

The Warriors expect Klay Thompson to be sidelined nine to 10 months with the torn ACL in his left knee that he suffered last night, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). That would put his projected return sometime from mid-March to mid-April, possibly late in the season but definitely in time for next year’s playoffs if there are no unexpected setbacks.

Golden State will remain Thompson’s first option in free agency this summer, but he could listen to other teams if the Warriors don’t offer a max contract, sources tell Haynes. It’s not clear if Thompson’s injury will have any effect on what the organization plans to do.

Thompson’s was hurt in the third quarter of Game 6 when he landed awkwardly on his left leg after being fouled on a fast break. After being helped off the court, he returned to make two free throws, but wasn’t able to play any more. Thompson didn’t realize the severity at the time, telling coach Steve Kerr“Just a two-minute rest and I’ll be ready,” relays Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Re-signing Kevon Looney and possibly DeMarcus Cousins will be priorities this summer, Vardon adds. Looney will be looking for a significant raise on the one-year, $1.6MM contract he had this season, while Cousins could receive as much as $6.4MM from the Warriors via his Non-Bird rights if there’s not a strong demand for him in free agency. Cousins told Anthony Slater of The Athletic that he’s “open” to coming back (Twitter link).
  • The Warriors’ fighting spirit may have sunk their future, Slater notes in a full story. If Golden State had lost in the conference semifinals after Kevin Durant‘s injury in Game 6 or hadn’t pulled out a close victory in Game 2 in Toronto, the catastrophic events of the past two games never would have happened.
  • Veteran guard Shaun Livingston will seriously consider retirement, but said he could “possibly” return for another year, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Livingston, who will turn 34 this summer, has just a $2MM guarantee on his $7,692,308 contract for next season. It won’t become fully guaranteed until June 30.
  • Owner Joe Lacob wasn’t ready to address free agency questions last night, but admitted that he talked with GM Bob Myers about what the Warriors do next, relays Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. “We’ll have to assess and then talk,” Lacob said. “Obviously, we still have a very good team. And a great organization. So we’ll take it one step at a time.”

Kevon Looney To Play In Game 6

Kevon Looney will play in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

“He’s doing decently. So I think he’ll give it a go,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ll see how he holds up.”

Looney suffered a costal cartilage fracture in Game 2 and wasn’t expected to return for the remainder of the season. However, after receiving a second opinion on the injury, he came back in Game 4 before re-injuring himself in Game 5, leaving the contest.

Game 6 will be the Warriors’ final game in Oracle Arena.

“Win or lose, we’ll be able to share some emotion and say our goodbyes, and hopefully with one more game to play in Toronto,” Kerr said via Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link). “But it is a strange, unique night.”