The Warriors made it a priority to re-sign Kevon Looney in free agency. Mission accomplished.
To show how serious Golden State was in re-signing Kevon Looney, team co-chairman Joe Lacob, Director if Player Personnel Larry Harris and Kirk Lacob were present at Looney’s meeting with the Warriors Sunday, per source.— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) July 2, 2019
On Monday afternoon, the big man agreed to terms on a three-year contract worth $15 million.
So, what was the negotiating process like? Looney's agent, Todd Ramasar, shed light during a radio appearance Tuesday night on KNBR 680.
"They had a certain amount of money available. They stretched it a little bit more between Sunday and Monday once the deal went through," he said. "Doing an evaluation of the market, if you look at some of the signings at the position across the league, and even see some of the other free agents at Kevon's position that are available -- I did an analysis and shared it with Kevon and his family and other advisers, and Kevon made a decision that was in his best interest to go back to familiar territory.
"The economics worked out in the end."
Golden State entered free agency with the ability to give Looney more than $5 million annually. But once they agreed to the D'Angelo Russell sign-and-trade deal, their budget for Looney shrunk.
A lot of people believe he could have signed a bigger contract elsewhere. The mid-level exception is about $9.3 million, and the taxpayer mid-level exception is about $5.7 million.
But as Ramasar explained:
"Traditional bigs or centers, they're being asked to spread the floor and shoot the 3. And the higher percentage that they're shooting, there's gonna be more of a premium or more of a market on those guys because of their ability to play five out on offense."
This is interesting because back in December, Steve Kerr said: "He's got a lot more game than people know of, and we see it in practice. Kevon is such a conscientious player that he's normally deferring to the stars. But we're gonna ask him to do more. We think he can make 3s."
Looney never really had a chance to prove he can step out and knock it down from beyond the arc, and it sounds like that cost him some money. In four NBA seasons, the 23-year-old is 5 of 26 from 3-point territory.
"He could do a lot more. He's only scratching the surface in terms of the offensive end, and that was a big part of my conversations with other teams," Ramasar said. "To a certain degree in this league, seeing is believing.
"But Kevon going back to the Warriors -- Steve knows what he's capable of, those guys have seen him in practice. ... Now it's gonna be an opportunity with the change in that roster for Kevon to actually show it now."