Why the Warriors Guaranteeing Kevon Looney’s Contract Was a Logical Move – NBC Sports Bay Area and California

After charting the pros and cons, the Warriors concluded that $8 million is a reasonable one-year salary for a perceived locker room presence who also happens to be their most consistent.

Kevon Looney will remain with the Warriors for at least one more season, as the team on Monday guaranteed the final year of his contract, ensuring the veteran big man will remain with the franchise that made him the 30th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

The decision comes after months of uncertainty, as the Warriors plan to cut salaries over the next two weeks. But Looney became a valuable member of the team for his contributions on and off the field.

After being the starting center for more than two seasons, Looney’s role diminished last season. Draymond Green and rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis split starting duties during the second half of the season. Looney’s playing time has exceeded 15 minutes only twice in the past two months.

However, Looney’s 12.6 rebounds per 36 minutes led the Warriors and ranked 12th in the NBA last season. It’s one of the reasons why Golden State, despite its relatively deficient roster size, leads the league in rebounding at 46.7 per game.

Equally important is Looney’s role as an unofficial guardian of the team’s culture. His perseverance through multiple physical challenges and team-first mentality is evident in everything he does, from mentoring rookies to counseling veterans.

Looney brings a measure of comfort to coach Steve Kerr and his staff.

His contract guarantee allows the Warriors the flexibility to retain someone they value or use in a trade.

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Smart move along the way.

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