Kevon Looney

Warriors GM explains decision to guarantee Looney's contract

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Despite a decreased role in the Warriors' rotation last season, it's clear that center Kevon Looney is a key part of the team's future plans.

After the Warriors guaranteed Kevon Looney's $8 million contract for 2024-25 NBA season, general manager Mike Dunleavy highlighted the veteran big man's importance to the organization in a press conference Monday.

"I just think we value him so much as a player, as a teammate, as a core piece of this organization," Dunleavy said while speaking to reporters ahead of the 2024 NBA Draft later this week. "So to move on without him, without anything in return or to move on without him and just not be able to fill that void just didn't make a ton of sense for us."

Looney averaged only 16.1 minutes per game last season --- his lowest total since his injury-riddled 2019-20 campaign, in which he played just 20 games. The 28-year-old especially saw his playing time dwindling as the season progressed; his minutes shrunk to just 11.1 per game over his final 30 games in 2024.

Still, it's clear that Looney has a major impact on the Warriors whether or not he's on the floor thanks to his veteran leadership.

Even though the Warriors didn't choose to waive Looney to free up some salary cap room, Dunleavy seemed to leave the door open for a trade involving the big man in the coming months.

"We'll see. As the clock turns into July and free agency, all things are always on the table and available," Dunleavy said. "But for now, we feel good about having him back, and he's a great component of this organization."

In the meantime, it will be interesting to monitor Looney as a potential trade chip if the Warriors try to pick up another star (cough cough, Paul George?) once NBA free agency begins next week.

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