The Golden State Warriors simply can’t catch a break on the injury-front this season. After getting Stephen Curry back from his fractured hand on Thursday, Curry was right back on the shelf due to flu-like symptoms on Saturday. Curry should be back soon, but it will be a while longer for big man Kevon Looney.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Looney will be out for a few weeks due to a left hip injury. Looney previously had hip surgery in 2016. In a down year, Golden State will take their time with Looney’s recovery.
It’s been a lost season for Looney, as he’s appeared in just 20 games. Looney has missed time due an abdominal injury and then neuropathy in his hamstrings. The absences followed Looney signed a three-year, $15 million contract this summer. That deal came after Looney became a key part of the Warriors rotation as a backup center.
Golden State’s big man rotation has been in flux all season. Draymond Green has missed 21 games (and counting) due to knee soreness. Free agent signee Willie Cauley-Stein was traded to Dallas three months into the season. Without their established big men, the Warriors have cycled through other teams’ castoffs. That process has landed Golden State Marquese Chriss, who has played well and signed a contract that is partially guaranteed for 2020-21. Rookie Eric Paschall has also emerged as a potential rotation player.
Going into next season, the Warriors will undoubtedly look to use some of their assets to upgrade the center spot. Golden State will have a lottery pick for the first time in several years, along with a $17 million trade exception. They can also use the equivalent of the Taxpayer Mid-Level exception as well. Expect those means to result in at least one or two new bigs, as the Warriors look to get back to their winning ways.