The Golden State Warriors aren’t going to be able to keep all the pieces from their 2022 NBA Championship team together, but they locked down a key member of the roster on Friday, re-signing center Kevon Looney on a three-year, $25.5 million deal, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Looney has been a significant element of the Warriors' title run and exits free agency to stay on a new deal with the NBA champions. https://t.co/obtUgcxOOH
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2022
While Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson grab the headlines, Looney was a key member of the team’s championship run this past season. The 27-year-old had a breakout season, appearing in all 82 games in the regular season and every playoff game (22). Looney’s rebounding and defensive play were critical as the team marched towards its fourth title in eight seasons, though he also broke out a few points when needed.
The last time Looney scored 20 in an organized game? His freshman year at UCLA in 2015. https://t.co/DXeoqH6d2W
— Kendra Andrews (@kendra__andrews) May 21, 2022
Retaining Looney, who averaged a career-high 7.3 rebounds this season, was considered a priority for the franchise. That was especially true in the wake of losing key players like Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr., and Juan Toscano-Anderson. Looney’s return also gives Golden State more time to develop James Wiseman.
“Loon, what more do we need to say about Loon?” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said back on June 22. “He’s a championship center, modern-day defender, switch defender, which is what it takes in the playoffs. As the 30th pick in the draft seven years ago, the way he’s developed, the way he’s worked, the way he has become such a big part of our internal leadership and our fabric, he’s a huge component to our success.”
There were lots of reactions around the NBA world on Friday after the news that Looney would remain with the Warriors.
Get paid, Looney! Love it. Glad he's back. Warriors need to just add 2 vets for minimums in the off-season and they'll get it. https://t.co/mvQcjToPXV
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) July 1, 2022
Loon on a 3/25 and they couldn't pay GP2? https://t.co/EH5NT7AnDo
— warriorsworld (@warriorsworld) July 1, 2022
Like in his past free agencies, Kevon Looney kept his options open on deals too good to pass up. But Looney always handicapped the Warriors amid their title success, his role & growth https://t.co/ETnC3LdcGj
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 1, 2022
Golden State is sitting on a $120M luxury tax payment with 10 players following this signing.
Despite Gary Payton II leaving, there is still potential for it to reach $200M after filling up the roster if they utilize the $6.4M taxpayer MLE. https://t.co/7GncHYNBvk
— Yossi Gozlan (@YossiGozlan) July 1, 2022
Saved money on Looney. Makes losing GP2 look worse. https://t.co/esauPYnYQq
— Brian Witt (@Wittnessed) July 1, 2022