“[Kevon] Looney has become one of our foundational pieces.”
That was Steve Kerr on the night Kevon Looney had 12 points and 14 rebounds in the Warriors’ Game 4 Western Conference Finals win over the Trail Blazers. Kerr went on to say multiple times through the Finals how much he wanted Looney back — and it was obvious why, when Looney was at the five the Warriors offense just flowed better (much smoother than when DeMarcus Cousins was in).
Kerr got his guy, and the Warriors got a good deal. Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news.
Houston was among several teams that had reached out to Looney, but the Warriors always planned to bring him back if at all possible.
The trade earlier today that sent Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham from the Warriors to the Timberwolves helped free up space for the Warriors to make this happen (remember they are hard capped at $138 million).
Looney moved into the Warriors starting center role by the end of last season, and in the playoffs he averaged 7.1 points and 4.5 rebounds a game. In the Finals, he tried to play through a fractured collar bone to help the Warriors, but the walking wounded — and an outstanding Raptors team — was just too much for them.
This is a win for the Warriors, who will take a step back next season with all the injuries and changes, but will not be bad. At all.