Kevon Looney reacts to Steve Kerr calling him 'foundational piece'


Kevon Looney reacts to Steve Kerr calling him 'foundational piece'

Programming note: Watch the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday, May 30 at 4:00 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

Kevon Looney registered 12 points, 14 rebounds, one steal and one block in the Golden State Warriors' Game 4 Western Conference finals win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

After the victory, head coach Steve Kerr said something quite powerful.

“Looney has become one of our foundational pieces," he told reporters.

Kevon Looney. Foundational piece.

Let that sink in.

Two months after the Warriors selected the UCLA product with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, he underwent surgery on his right hip.

Then in April 2016, he had surgery on his left hip.

In late October 2017, the Dubs elected to decline his $2.23 million option for the 2018-19 season, which put Looney's future in the NBA very much in jeopardy.

But things started to click in Year 3 and he seemingly always produced when Kerr called his number. By the end of last season, Looney was playing so well that it looked like he had become too expensive for the Warriors to retain.

Unfortunately for Looney, he didn't receive any offers in free agency and he returned to the Dubs on a minimum deal.

This season, the 23-year old averaged career highs in minutes (18.5), points (6.3), field goal percentage (62.5), rebounds (5.2) and assists (1.5).

During the playoffs, he's averaging 7.5 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting over 72 percent overall and 80 percent from the free throw line.

And his ability to defend guards in isolation has made him invaluable. 

“To be called a foundational piece, I never would’ve believed that,” Looney said to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “Even when I was playing pretty good last season, I never would’ve taken it that far.”

Earlier this year, Looney's alma mater -- Hamilton High School in Milwaukee -- held a ceremony to retire his jersey. Yes, the big man grew up in Milwaukee and there's a chance the Warriors face his hometown Bucks in the NBA Finals.

What a special homecoming that would be for the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent.

[REWINDHow Iguodala helped Looney get career on track]

"We have a lot of summer priorities," Golden State general manager Bob Myers told The Athletic. "I don’t know if you can have seven or eight priorities.

"But he’s a priority.”

Foundational piece.

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NBA draft 2019: Updated order after Lakers-Pelicans Anthony Davis trade

NBA draft 2019: Updated order after Lakers-Pelicans Anthony Davis trade

From the moment the 2019 NBA Draft lottery concluded on May 14, it was safe to assume the New Orleans Pelicans would end up acquiring the No. 3 overall pick from the Knicks or the No. 4 overall pick from the Lakers for Anthony Davis.

On Saturday, New Orleans and Los Angeles reportedly agreed to a blockbuster trade centering around the All-Star big man. One of the pieces headed to the Pelicans is indeed the No. 4 overall pick.

The trade hasn't officially been completed, and isn't expected to go through until July 6 at the earliest, but we can still update the NBA Draft order knowing that the player taken by the Lakers on Thursday eventually will end up in New Orleans along with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart.

Also, in case you forgot, the Pelicans own the No. 1 overall pick, which they almsot certainly will use to draft Duke star Zion Williamson.

The Warriors will pick at No. 28 in the first round and No. 58 in the second round. The latest mock drafts have some intriguing options going to Golden State.

As for the Kings, they don't have a first-round pick, but they own the No. 40, No. 47 and No. 60 picks in the second round.

Here's the refreshed 2019 NBA Draft order taking the trade into account:

First round

1. New Orleans
2. Memphis
3. New York
4. New Orleans (from Los Angeles Lakers)
5. Cleveland
6. Phoenix
7. Chicago
8. Atlanta
9. Washington
10. Atlanta (from Dallas)
11. Minnesota
12. Charlotte
13. Miami
14. Boston (from Sacramento via Philadelphia)
15. Detroit
16. Orlando
17. Brooklyn
18. Indiana
19. San Antonio
20. Boston (from LA Clippers via Memphis)
21. Oklahoma City
22. Boston
23. Utah
24. Philadelphia
25. Portland
26. Cleveland (from Houston)
27. Brooklyn (from Denver)
28. Golden State
29. San Antonio (from Toronto)
30. Milwaukee

Second round

31. Brooklyn (from New York via Philadelphia)
32. Phoenix
33. Philadelphia (from Cleveland via Orlando and New York)
34. Philadelphia (from Chicago via Los Angeles Lakers)
35. Atlanta
36. Charlotte (from Washington via Orlando, Denver and Atlanta)
37. Dallas
38. Chicago (from Memphis)
39. New Orleans
40. Sacramento (from Minnesota via Portland and Cleveland)
41. Atlanta (from Los Angeles Lakers via Cleveland and Indiana)
42. Philadelphia (from Sacramento via Brooklyn and Milwaukee)
43. Minnesota (from Miami via Charlotte)
44. Atlanta (from Charlotte)
45. Detroit
46. Orlando (from Brooklyn via Memphis and Charlotte)
47. Sacramento (from Orlando via New York)
48. LA Clippers
49. San Antonio
50. Indiana
51. Boston
52. Charlotte (from Oklahoma City)
53. Utah
54. Philadelphia
55. New York (from Houston)
56. LA Clippers (from Portland via Detroit and Orlando)
57. New Orleans (from Denver via Milwaukee)
58. Golden State
59. Toronto
60. Sacramento (from Milwaukee)

NBA rumors: Anthony Davis trade timing could hinder Lakers free agency plans

NBA rumors: Anthony Davis trade timing could hinder Lakers free agency plans

Lakers fans everywhere are excited by the agreed upon Anthony Davis trade with the Pelicans.

Initial reporting on Saturday speculated that Los Angeles would still have between $27 and $32 million in cap space remaining, enough to bring in another marquee player through free agency.

But new information coming out Sunday paints a slightly bleaker picture for the Lakers.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the trade won't be executed until July 6.

Davis also has a 15 percent trade kicker that equates to $4 million. He could waive the trade kicker to help the Lakers, but Wojnarowski doesn't see that happening.

With that in mind, the Lakers' cap space would decrease from just over $27 million to just over $23 million.

But there's more.

By completing the trade on July 6, the player the Lakers draft with the No. 4 overall pick next Thursday wouldn't count towards their salary. But if the Lakers were to tell the Pelicans 'Hey, let's wait until July 30 to execute the trade,' Los Angeles could free up salary-cap space because the No. 4 pick would be on the books.

Wojnarowski believes there's a chance the teams wait until July 30, but for now, he expects the blockbuster trade to go through on July 6.

[RELATED: Lakers need more than Davis]

If that's the case, the Lakers will have less cap space than they had hoped. That would be welcome news for the Warriors and Kings, who are watching their Pacific Division rival retool their roster in a big way.

If the Lakers aren't able to add a marquee free agent alongside Davis and LeBron James, they won't be as daunting.