6 Golden State Warriors who are as good as gone this summer

Decision time is quickly approaching for the Golden State Warriors, and these 6 players appear more likely than not to be playing elsewhere.
Chris Paul, Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Chris Paul, Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors / David Berding/GettyImages
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No. 6: Kevon Looney

On any other team, Kevon Looney would be a franchise icon, a player who won three championships for the Golden State Warriors and has played each of his nine seasons in the league with that one franchise. On the Warriors, however, Steph + Klay + Draymond all have longer tenures and four rings.

For whatever the fan response to Looney may be, he is a strong candidate to be cut by the team prior to the official start to free agency. Looney's $8 million salary for next season is only partially-guaranteed, and if the Warriors waive him by June 24 they will only be on the hook for $3 million of his original $8 million salary.

While Looney has at times been an integral part of the Warriors' starting lineup and postseason success, he has slipped over the past two seasons and is not quite as quick as he once was (that being a point of comparison, as Looney has never been characterized as "fast" during his career). His impact is largely as a switch defender, and if he can't hold up on defense his role will only plummet further. Looney has never been a scorer or floor-spacer, and his path to NBA minutes is a thin one, for all that it has been crucial for the Warriors in the past.

The Warriors may find a trade suitor who sees Looney as a solid backup center, or they may include Looney in a trade for a starter or star. If neither materializes, they may be forced to waive Looney to reduce his salary cap hit. Other teams will see a role for him in a switch-heavy scheme, and his rebounding continues to be special and valuable. As they reconfigure the lineup, upgrading at center may mean letting Looney go.