3x NBA champion expected to be cut by Golden State Warriors in coming weeks

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets
Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets / Tim Warner/GettyImages

Time is dwindling for the Golden State Warriors to make decisions on the futures of a number of key players, with June set to a big month for the fate of the franchise moving forward.

One of those players is Kevon Looney who, after a disappointing season in which he was supplanted by rookie big man Trayce Jackson-Davis, faces an uncertain future after nine years with the Warriors.

Veteran center Kevon Looney may be in his final weeks as a Golden State Warriors player according to The Athletic's Tim Kawakami

Looney has an $8 million contract for next season, but only $3 million of which is guaranteed. June 24 is the key date for Looney and Golden State, with that being D-day for the franchise on deciding whether to guarantee the remaining $5 million of his deal.

Do the Warriors, burdened by a huge payroll and with aspirations of ducking the second tax apron, wish to pay $8 million to a back up center next season? Perhaps not according to The Athletic's Tim Kawakami who, in a recent episode of the Warriors Plus Minus podcast, detailed his expectation that the Warriors will cut Looney by June 24.

"I think the likeliest situation is that he's cut and he makes $3 million from them and he's off looking for another spot, and there will be another spot for him in this league. Teams are going to want him, again for a very low number, but they're going to want him."

Tim Kawakami

After starting 150 of 164 regular season games over the previous two years, Looney lost his starting role and even his spot in the rotation all together during the second half of the season. He averaged 4.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 16.1 minutes per game, all numbers that were well down from a career-best year in 2022-23.

The 3x NBA champion could find himself departing the Warriors even if his contract is guaranteed, with Kawakami believing that would signify an imminent Looney trade in the days or weeks following June 24.

Kawakami identified the 2023 champion Denver Nuggets as a potential spot for Looney to replace DeAndre Jordan as a back up for Nikola Jokić, while he also sees the San Antonio Spurs as a potential destination where the 28-year-old could be a mentor to Victor Wembanyama.

While many are finding it difficult to envision Klay Thompson in a different jersey next season, seeing Looney on a rival team may prove just as strange given the on and off court legacy he's built at the Warriors over nearly a decade.