The better Kevon Looney plays, the less likely it is the Warriors will be able to afford him when he becomes a free agent this summer, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Golden State declined Looney’s option after two injury-plagued years related to a pair of hip surgeries. He responded by playing 66 games during the regular season and leading all Warriors centers with 147 playoff minutes.
Golden State could have locked up Looney for $2.3MM for 2018/19, but that wasn’t an easy decision when it had to be made in October. Not only was his career beset by injuries, but he was buried in a deep big man rotation that included promising rookie Jordan Bell.
“Our financial commitments [next year and beyond] are high,” GM Bob Myers said. “That factored in. Had we been in a different financial situation in the aggregate, maybe we make a different decision.”
There’s more today from Golden State:
- Stephen Curry‘s time as a reserve will last just one game, according to an ESPN report. Returning from an MCL sprain, Curry scored 28 points off the bench Tuesday, and he will be in the starting lineup when the series resumes Friday. “Oh yeah, yeah, he’ll start Game 3,” coach Steve Kerr said in an interview on 95.7 The Game. “You don’t keep a guy like that on the bench for long. … He’ll be in the starting lineup.”
- Kevin Durant is hoping for easier looks from 3-point range with Curry back on the court, relays Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News. Durant averaged 27.9 points in six playoff games without Curry, but shot just 28% from long distance. “When you get a chance to work with one of the best to ever play, it sharpens you as well,” Durant said. “Steel sharpens steel. He makes me better and I make him better.”
- Kerr won’t stand in the way if any of his assistants has a shot at a head coaching job, relays Medina adds in a separate story. Jarron Collins is a candidate in Atlanta, while Mike Brown is among the many who have interviewed with the Knicks. “Selfishly I hope guys stay but we always want them to move on with their careers and get these great opportunities,” Kerr said in the same radio interview. “So we’ll see what happens.” Alvin Gentry of the Pelicans and Luke Walton of the Lakers were both Golden State assistants before landing their current jobs.