Kevon Looney has hit somewhat of an NBA jackpot. Drafted to the best team in the league in 2015, he already has one NBA championship under his belt.
He’s improved every year that he’s been in the league, posting career highs in minutes played (13.8), points (4.0), and rebounds (3.3) in 2017-18.
Looney fits general manager Scott Perry‘s idea of a long, versatile forward that can switch on pick-and-rolls. He may even draw some comparisons to JaMychal Green, a player that developed well under new head coach David Fizdale in Memphis.
Back in March, NBC Sports’ Monte Poole wrote about Looney’s development and production for a Warriors team hit with injuries this year.
Looney matters because he’s comfortable and effective in the team’s switching defense. He matters he feels the game with his mind. And because he gotten comfortable with his shot, casually sinking midrange jumpers and, on Tuesday, draining his only 3-pointer, launching from the right wing.
Looney shot 50 percent from the field on catch-and-shoot two-point field goals and shot 61.5 percent in two-point field goals after taking at least three-to-six dribbles. Although the sample size is small, Looney has shown that he can improve and get minutes on a team with All-NBA talent at multiple positions.
On the downside, the negatives with Looney are certainly there. Looney is not going blow you away with athleticism any time soon. Additionally, he is a poor free-throw shooter, hitting just 54 percent of his shots from the stripe.
Looney also can’t shoot from the three-point line so teams will go under the screens, making his ability stretch the court almost non-existent.
Finally, Looney only played in five games during his rookie year after recovering from hip surgery. He’s been relatively healthy since then, but most general managers will have reason to pause when considering free-agents with injuries to the lower half of their bodies.