Steve Kerr was nervous Warriors could lose ‘enormously valuable' Kevon Looney


In late October 2017, the Warriors declined Kevon Looney's fourth-year option worth just under $2.23 million. By doing so, Looney became an unrestricted free agent in July, and he could have left the franchise that drafted him.

But he eventually re-signed with Golden State for the minimum.

[REWIND: How Andre Iguodala helped Kevon Looney get his career on track]

"When we didn't pick up his option and then all of a sudden he had a great camp and a great start to the season and a great finish, it was a little nerve-wracking thinking we might lose him," Steve Kerr told reporters after practice Monday. "But it all worked out in the end for us.

"I'd really like to see him make some money and do really well for himself. He deserves it. And hopefully that's here."

Yes, it did work out well for the Warriors because Looney will make about $1.57 million this year (almost $700,000 less than what his option was worth), which ends up saving the team a couple million in luxury tax penalties.

And, perhaps more importantly, Kerr continues to have a reliable big man at his disposal.

"I think he's gonna have a good 10- or 12-year run in the league because he's one of the guys who I know I can always count on -- whether I start him or bring him off the bench or maybe sit him for four straight games and start him the fifth game -- I know he's gonna be ready," Kerr explained. "He's a pro, and guys like that are enormously valuable."

Looney shot over 41 percent from deep during his one season at UCLA, but the outside shot hasn't been a part of his game at the NBA level.

At least not yet.

"If he makes the 15- to 17-foot shot -- that's great -- but it's not what's gonna keep him in the league," Kerr added. "It might elevate him within the league, but he's already a pro because of everything else he does."

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

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