Golden State Warriors: Kevon Looney deserves consistent role

Golden State Warriors (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Golden State Warriors (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

After having his 4th-year option declined, Kevon Looney has been better than ever for the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

Kevon Looney‘s NBA tenure has certainly had its ups and downs. Since falling to the Golden State Warriors at the 30th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Looney has spent his first couple years dealing with multiple hip surgeries, limiting his opportunities to positively affect the team

Now in his healthiest year ever, there’s no doubt that this season has been his most consistent to date — even with his sporadic role in the rotation.

Averaging 2.9 points and 2.8 rebounds in 11.0 minutes per game, Looney’s primary focus has centered around setting screens and finishing inside, which he’s done incredibly well all seasonlong. According to NBA Advanced Stats, 80.3 percent of his points come in the paint, and he’s currently shooting 57.8 percent from the field.

In addition, Looney has been known to keep key possessions alive with his solid rebounding ability. Per NBA Advanced Stats, Looney’s 1.1 offensive rebounds per game ranks third among all Warriors players, and his 2.9 second chance points per 100 possessions ranks fourth.

He also holds an offensive rebounding percentage of 12.5 percent over the course of 49 games, which ranks second behind Damian Jones‘ 25.0 percent over three games.

Yet despite finding his niche in the rotation, the current framework of Golden State’s frontcourt is rather crowded, which hasn’t exactly boded well for the 3rd-year big man. This, in turn, factored into the team’s decision to decline Looney’s 4th-year option, which will also help the team avoid a hefty luxury tax bill.

To the benefit of the Warriors, Looney has continued to buy in, providing the Dubs with whatever they need, whenever they need it. He truly epitomizes the value of a “team player,” which is further evidenced by the fact that Golden State’s top-5 lineups this year have featured Looney as the lone constant.

Not Stephen Curry. Not Klay Thompson. Not Draymond Green or Kevin Durant.


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Of course, the team will still be able to re-sign Looney to a minimum deal this summer if he doesn’t get snatched up by another team first. Should the Warriors have the opportunity, they should definitely consider bringing Looney back next season.

Until then, I hope Looney earns a much more consistent spot in the rotation as the postseason quickly approaches.