Steve Kerr trusts Kevon Looney: 'That's a skill that is gonna help us'


Steve Kerr trusts Kevon Looney: 'That's a skill that is gonna help us'

Kevon Looney played six minutes in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' season-opening loss to the Rockets.

"I trust Looney any point in the game," Steve Kerr told reporters after practice on Tuesday. "We've closed games with him."

After the opener, Looney was inactive the next three games and then did not see any action against the Raptors.

In Game No. 6 against the Wizards, he started the third quarter (because Draymond Green was ejected) and ended up scoring seven huge points in the fourth quarter.

He did not get into Game No. 7 and was inactive the next two contests.

But Looney has been a steady rotation player over the last five games -- averaging 3.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over 14.5 minutes.

"We got a lot of other guys I trust, too ... but the matchups seem to be going his way," Kerr said. "The league continues to trend towards a smaller game, a switching game. He's our best switching 5 -- he and Draymond, obviously, but I don't really consider Draymond a 5.

"Looney's a 5 and he's tremendous at switching and then staying in front of guys and using verticality and not fouling. That's a skill that is gonna help us."

Here a bunch of examples of what Kerr is talking about:

Looney -- the 30th pick in the 2015 draft -- is going to be an unrestricted free agent next summer because the Warriors declined his fourth-year player option.

But he still could end up returning to Golden State on a minimum deal.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Report: Warriors agree to terms on deal with NCAA's second leading scorer

Report: Warriors agree to terms on deal with NCAA's second leading scorer

The Warriors selected Jacob Evans with the No. 28 overall pick in the NBA Draft.

But that wasn't the only thing they accomplished.

Golden State agreed to terms on a partially guaranteed deal with Kendrick Nunn, according to ESPN's Ian Bagley.

Nunn averaged 25.9 points per game last year at Oakland University in Michigan.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: What does the Jacob Evans selection mean for Pat McCaw?]

On Thursday night he tweeted:

The partial guarantee essentially means that he will report to training camp in late September, and will end up being an affiliate player for the Santa Cruz Warriors (this is not the same as a two-way contract).

There is no official word yet if Nunn will play for the Warriors' summer league team in Sacramento and/or Las Vegas.

Nunn was a Top 100 recruit in the high school class of 2013.

He played his first three years of college ball at Illinois -- averaging 15.5 points per game as a junior.

Nunn was dismissed from the team following the 2015-16 season and ended up at Oakland.

He sat out the 2016-17 campaign before completing his career as the Horizon League Player of the Year.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Why the Warriors were thrilled to get 'modern NBA wing' Jacob Evans

Why the Warriors were thrilled to get 'modern NBA wing' Jacob Evans

OAKLAND -- Insofar as they don’t expect to have Nick Young next season and can’t assume they’ll have Patrick McCaw, it's not surprising the Warriors selected Cincinnati’s Jacob Evans III in the first round of the NBA Draft Thursday night.

It is, under the circumstances and given his tools, the logical call.

Evans is a 6-foot-6, 210-pound wing on a team that found itself thin on wings last season. Young and McCaw accounted for half the inventory, and Young was on a one-year contract and McCaw will be a restricted free agent.

Mainstays Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala are the only other wings on the roster.

Most of the players the Warriors brought in for pre-draft workouts were shooting guards or small forwards. Evans, taken with the 28th overall pick, falls into that category. He made two visits, the first on June 12, the day of the championship parade, and the most recent on Wednesday.

“He’s kind of the modern NBA wing: versatile, tough and a high-character kid,” general manager Bob Myers said after the draft. “We’re thrilled. We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to get him. We had him rated higher than he went to us, and he fits a lot of things we do. So we’re happy.”

Evans, who turned 21 on Monday, led the Bearcats in scoring (13.0 points per game) and assists (3.1) as a junior last season and shot 39.4 percent (129-of-327) from deep over his final two seasons.

But his ability to play immediately while guarding multiple positions was particularly appealing. Evans has been defending three perimeter positions since playing high school ball at St. Michael the Archangel in Baton Rouge, La.

“He’s a guy who is defensive-minded,” Myers said. “You don’t see a ton of college kids locked in on that side of the ball. He has kind a knack for it, on-the-ball defender or off-the-ball defender. And he had a nose for rebounding.

“So you could picture him playing in an NBA game. And that’s the feeling in our draft room, is that you can play this guy. I don’t think Steve’s going to have any problem putting him out there.”

Born in North Carolina but spending most of his youth in Louisiana, Evans was projected to go as high as the low 20s but no lower than the mid-30s.

Evans worked his way, lifting and sweating all the while, into the NBA. In his first two years at Cincinnati, he transformed his physique from unexceptional to distinctly chiseled, measuring at 6.5 percent body fat at the NBA combine.

“Not all players reach their potential. Jacob is reaching his because he was wiling to work hard,” Cincinnati associate head coach Larry Davis told The (Baton Rouge) Advocate. “He spent extra time in the weight room and on conditioning to transform his body. When some guys were out doing other things, Jacob was in the gym shooting and doing drills.’

Evans was the clear leader on a Bearcats team that went 31-5, the season ending with a 75-73 loss to Nevada in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In addition to scoring and assists, he started every game and led the team in minutes.

“He was one of the smartest players I have ever coached,” Bearcats coach Mick Cronin said in a release. “We take great pride in developing our players and Jacob is a great example what can happen for a young man with talent and a great attitude. We are so proud and extremely excited for him to join the world champions.”