Kevon Looney’s Warriors future hit with uncertainty

Tony Nguyen | Golden State Warriors
June 11, 2024

Golden State Warriors big man Kevon Looney has been an integral part of the team for years and has helped the Warriors win multiple championships, but his run in Golden State may be coming to an unfortunate end.

Looney has just one year left on his deal and is slated to earn $8 million during the 2024-25 campaign, but given the Warriors’ miserable salary cap situation, they may end up cutting him to save some money, Tim Kawakami said on the Warriors Plus Minus podcast.

The 28-year-old discussed the situation with his teammate, Draymond Green, on “The Draymond Green Show” this week, and he seemed to understand that his future in the Bay is murky.

“The ball isn’t in my court,” Looney said. “I don’t have full control over my destiny, so I kind of have to play the waiting game, control what I can control.”

Looney was originally selected by Golden State with the 30th overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, so if he has to depart the Warriors this summer, it will be extra tough for him.

“I’ve been here my whole career. I don’t know nothing else,” Looney said. “You always want to finish what you started and be somewhere for your whole career, but I’ve been in this business long enough to know that’s not realistic. I’m preparing myself for whatever. My family’s out here, the Bay’s been great to me. They treat me like family, I grew up here.”

Kevon Looney’s role has decreased for Warriors

Golden State Warriors forward Kevon Looney (5) looks to make a play against the Toronto Raptors during the second half at Scotiabank Arena.
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Two seasons ago, Looney averaged seven points and 9.3 rebounds over 23.9 minutes per game while shooting 63 percent from the floor. Statistically, it was the best season of Looney’s career, and he even earned some votes for Most Improved Player as a result.

This past year, however, Looney’s role decreased, as he logged just 4.5 points and 5.7 boards across 16.1 minutes a night. The rise of Jonathan Kuminga has certainly played a factor in Looney’s dip in playing time, and it could ultimately make the center expendable this offseason.

Looney has never been a star player, but his defensive versatility has made him a very valuable player throughout the Warriors dynasty.

He was only present for two of the championship runs, as an injury sidelined him in 2017, but he played a pivotal role in the Dubs’ titles in 2018 and 2022.

Early in his career, Looney has difficulty staying healthy, but over the last three years, he has been something of an ironman. He played in all 82 games in back-to-back campaigns in 2021-22 and 2022-23, and he only missed eight contests this past season. He played in 289 consecutive contests overall, including playoffs.

Looney is still a productive player, and it probably wouldn’t take him long to find a home if Golden State does, in fact, release him. However, it seems fairly clear that Looney’s future with the Warriors is up in the air, especially considering how head coach Steve Kerr began to move away from him midseason.

We’ll see what ends up becoming of Looney in the coming months, but he could be one of multiple key players from the Dubs’ title teams that will no longer be on the roster next year.