Golden State Warriors center Kevon Looney expected to be ready for the start of next season
It’s hardly been smooth sailing for Golden State Warriors‘ center Kevon Looney thus far in his basketball career, From pre-NBA injury concerns to early-career health struggles, Looney has constantly battled to stay on the court.
And this season was no different.
More from Golden State Warriors
- Warriors unlikely to draft Anthony Edwards due to character concerns
- Warriors: September minicamp mimics NBA bubble
- Warriors: Eric Paschall named to NBA All-Rookie first team
- Warriors reportedly eyeing a wing in the 2020 NBA Draft
- Warriors: Is the team destined to trade its No. 2 overall draft pick?
Looney was held out for most of training camp and the beginning of the season dealing with a hamstring injury. That hamstring injury was later revealed to be connected to a condition known as neuropathy that Looney had been dealing with for a number of years.
Ultimately, Looney would play just 20 games this past season — many of which he spent as a reserve seeing limited action. The 24-year-old averaged just 13.1 minutes per game in his few appearances this season.
It was a complete disappointment given the promise Looney had shown the previous season.
Finally healthy, Looney became a key piece of the Warriors’ 2018-19 team playing in 80 games while making 24 starts at the center position. The UCLA product averaged career highs in points (6.3), rebounds (5.2), and assists (1.5) all while averaging 18.5 minutes per game.
Moreover, his ability to play through injury when it came time for the postseason made him even more endearing to Warriors fans. Golden State rewarded him with a three-year, $15 million contract in the offseason to keep him in the Bay Area.
The team expected him to be their starting center for the 2019-20 season, but in what would become a theme for the Warriors this past year, things just didn’t go according to plan.
But now, the hope is that Looney will be healthy and ready for the start of next season after undergoing successful surgery this past Tuesday.
Looney was one in a long list of Warriors players who missed significant time with injuries. And in many ways, Looney’s 2019-20 season was a microcosm of the Warriors’ campaign.
What could Kevon Looney’s future be with the Warriors?
The hope is that Looney will be able to work through his injuries and return healthy for next season. However, it’s unclear whether his role will be returned to him.
Former draft bust Marquese Chriss excelled with the Warriors in Looney’s absence and reports indicate that the team is so high on him, that they’ve already penciled him in as their starting center for next season.
Of course, there’s also the possibility that the Warriors could draft a big man with their high first-round pick in this year’s draft — perhaps Memphis center James Wiseman.
Looney’s future is far from guaranteed, but it’s at least great to see him rehabbing from his injury. Here’s to hoping that his expectations come to fruition and that he’s healthy to start next season.