Editor's note: The Warriors' roster looks completely different than it did at this time last year. Golden State enters a new era at Chase Center with an injured Klay Thompson and without dynasty mainstays Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. As the Warriors' offseason goes on, we'll do a profile on every player on the revamped roster. Friday's edition focuses on Kevon Looney.
The Warriors were thrilled they were able to keep Kevon Looney in free agency after a summer of uncertainty. After losing so much talent in the offseason, the Warriors will rely on Looney to provide a little scoring punch, rebounding and solid defense.
Three years, $15 million
With Draymond Green nursing various injuries and DeMarcus Cousins recovering from a torn Achilles, Looney emerged as the Warriors' most consistent frontcourt player during the regular season.
While averaging 6.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, Looney continued to develop into one of the team's best defenders. His ability to guard multiple positions was vital in Golden State's postseason run, specifically during the second round of the NBA playoffs against the Houston Rockets.
But against the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, suffered a right side non-displaced first coastal cartilage fracture after challenging a Kawhi Leonard layup. Still, he missed just a game, playing the rest of the series in a burly shoulder wrap.
During Golden State's playoff run, Warriors coach Steve Kerr called Looney a "foundational piece" for the franchise. However, Looney's postseason play caused some fear within the organization that his play might lead him to a big payday out of town. That uneasiness subsided when Looney agreed to a three year, $15 million deal a day into free agency, a decision aided by a meeting the day before that included Warriors owner Joe Lacob.
In an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole, Steve Kerr said he hoped for Looney to play 30 minutes per game and even extend his shooting range to the three-point line.
"I look at Kevon," Kerr said, "with all of our departures, he's now one of our best players and one of the guys that we're really going to count on from night to night."
Though Looney has been leaned on for his defense, he has spent much of his life playing as a perimeter threat. During his senior season at Alexander Hamilton High School in Milwaukee, he averaged 27.9 points, 12.7 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 8.0 blocks per game as a 6-foot-9 guard.
Before thoughts of his game expanding can become reality, he must continue to rehab his chest fracture. According to a league source, Looney has been cleared for on-court work and is expected to be cleared for contact in the next week.