A day after reaching a one-year, $5.3 million agreement with free agent center DeMarcus Cousins, the Golden State Warriors have reportedly made another move in the free agent market, coming to terms with their own free agent, forward Kevon Looney. ESPN first reported the agreement.
The former UCLA star, who will turn 23 next February, will join a big man rotation that includes Cousins, himself, Jordan Bell and Damian Jones. Those four centers are younger and more athletic than 37-year old David West — who has yet to announce whether or not he will retire — and 30-year old JaVale McGee, who took a veteran minimum with the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this week.
Looney, who overcame the hip troubles that stalled his career for the past two years, averaged a career-high 13.8 minutes per game for the NBA champion Warriors this season, with an effective field goal percentage of 58.3. He set career highs in field goal percentage (58.0), rebounds (3.3), assists (0.6), steals (0.5), blocks (0.8) and points (4.0).
After a summer spent playing against LeBron James and other NBA luminaries during the vaunted pick-up games at his alma mater, Looney provided a boost in the playoffs, averaging 18.4 minutes per game with five starts. Playing in all 21 playoff games, Looney shot 54.2 percent from the field and averaged 4.2 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 4.1 points.
Against the New Orleans Pelicans, Looney guarded Anthony Davis and held him to 55 points in 161 possessions (well below his regular-season average of 36.9 points per 100 possessions). In the playoffs, Looney led Golden State regulars in defensive rating (97.5), edging out Andre Iguodala (98.7), McGee (98.0) and Quinn Cook (97.7). Out of those players, Looney was the only one to play all 21 games.