Kevon Looney says it will be hard to turn down Warriors in free agency

2018 NBA Finals - Game One

In three career seasons in the NBA, Kevon Looney has been to the Finals three times and has been a part of two championship teams.

This past season, Looney averaged career-highs in points (4.0), rebounds (3.3), blocks (0.8) and minutes (13.8) per game and also appeared in a career-high 66 regular-season contests as well for the Golden State Warriors.

He also carved out a role in the playoffs, earning five starts while averaging 4.1 points and 4.2 boards in 18.4 minutes over 21 contests. Coach Steve Kerr was clearly a fan of the 6’9” forward’s versatility, especially on the defensive end of the floor.

Since Looney is extremely athletic and has a long wingspan, he came in handy against the San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans and Houston Rockets, averaging over 19.4 minutes per game in those three series.

Even though he only logged time in three Finals games against the Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging a paltry 9.8 minutes, Looney made a clear impact earlier in Golden State’s playoff run. His lack of playing time was likely due to Kerr’s preference to give JaVale McGee playing time against Tristan Thompson and a larger Cavs squad.

Now with the sights set on next season, Looney is one of the many Warriors without a contract. In fact, Nick Young, Zaza Pachulia, David West, Patrick McCaw, McGee and Looney will all be free agents.

A tough decision

It will be a very important time for the 22-year-old. Will he decide to come back to Golden State and accept a small salary or will he decide to chase the money and go wherever shells out the big bucks (assuming that he receives interest)? In other words, does playing a small role on a championship-caliber team mean more to him than taking on a major role on a different club?

On Thursday, Looney admitted that the decision won’t be easy. If he returns to Golden State, he would likely be used in situational matchups, just like he was this past year. Since the Warriors switch on most pick and rolls, Looney has proven that he has an ability to slide horizontally, thus preventing penetration by some of the league's most talented guards.

“I mean, this is my first time experiencing it, so I’m just trying to listen to people around me,” Looney said on 95.7 The Game. “I’ve got some great vets on this team to talk to that have been through this situation that I’m going to lean on and my agents and stuff like that and do what’s best for me.”

“But this has been a great team for me. I have a chance to play on this team and win a championship every year. So that’s something that’s hard to turn down. (It’s) the team that drafted me. So, they’ve all got a special place in my heart,” Looney explained. “So, it’s going to be tough this summer. Whatever happens happens and I’m just going to do what’s best.”

One team to keep an eye on could be the Milwaukee Bucks. Since homecomings are becoming more and more prevalent in the NBA, it’s important to note that Looney was one of the best high school players in Milwaukee back in the day. Plus, the Bucks could use depth on the interior, which is something that hurt them badly last season.

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