Golden State Warriors: Re-signing Kevon Looney is the underrated move of the offseason

Golden State Warriors Kevon Looney(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Golden State Warriors Kevon Looney(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The Golden State Warriors were the center of plenty of drama this offseason period, but the re-signing of Kevon Looney has certainly flown under the radar.

The Golden State Warriors were, in many ways, the talk of the offseason this year. With major pending free agents such as Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, it was expected that the Warriors would be the team to watch in free agency.

And now that the dust has mostly settled, it’s clear that expectations became reality.

Golden State experienced some heartbreak — albeit anticipated heartbreak — when Durant announced that he would be joining the Brooklyn Nets Sunday afternoon.

That news was made easier to swallow, however, when Thompson officially announced that he would be re-signing with the Warriors.

But just because their two superstars had already announced their decisions, that didn’t mean that the Warriors were ready to depart the NBA news cycle. Late Sunday night, it broke that Golden State had acquired 2019 All-Star D’Angelo Russell as a part of a sign-and-trade for Durant.

This sent shockwaves through the NBA world and showed that the Warriors weren’t ready to call it quits — even though so many outsiders had already done so for them.

But the news quietly broke on Monday that the Warriors had made one more move. It wasn’t as star-studded as the re-signing of Thompson, it wasn’t as earth-shattering as the trade for Russell, but it could prove to be just as impactful as each of them.

More from Golden State Warriors

Golden State officially re-signed 23-year-old big man Kevon Looney to a three-year, $15 million deal in what could be the steal of the entire offseason. Even after trading away veteran Andre Iguodala, most had doubted that the team would have the money to bring Looney back.

They did have his Bird rights, but after the sign-and-trade for Russell, Golden State was restricted to a hard cap.

But the Warriors weren’t ready to concede defeat just yet and after dealing both Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a salary dump, Golden State was finally able to agree to a deal with Looney.

Now, with plenty of interest from other teams around the league, it’s pretty clear that Looney took less to stay in the Bay Area. A three-year deal worth $5 million annually is an absolute steal for a player who had become such a key part of the Warriors rotation.

More from Golden Gate Sports

Looney set career-highs in nearly every statistic last season as his presence coming off the bench became invaluable down the stretch. The Warriors trudged through multiple postseason injuries — including a major one to Looney himself — which meant their depth was at an all-time premium.

And Looney was able to fight through the pain caused by a fracture near his collarbone and give the team the depth it desperately needed. At that moment, Looney established himself as a true Warrior — both in name and in practice.

It was then that the Warriors knew that they couldn’t afford to lose him.

In a time of great change and upheaval of the roster, re-signing Looney gives the team some semblance of continuity. Amidst all the roster turnover and personnel changes, Looney has remained a constant.

The only other center under contract prior to Looney being signed was 2016 first-round pick Damian Jones. And while Jones could be asked to play a bigger role this season, it would have been impossible to rely on him as a starter.

Still, with only 11 players under contract, the Warriors may very well add another big man to the roster. Even if Looney doesn’t enter next season as the starter, his value to the team is immeasurable.

Next. Golden State Warriors: How does D’Angelo Russell fit on the roster?. dark

His Warrior spirit, his unbridled competitiveness, and his locker room leadership cannot be understated. Looney is back with the Warriors, and this might be the best news of the entire offseason.