For Warriors forward Kevon Looney, 2018 proved to be a pivotal year in the context of his career arc.
After being drafted with the 30th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft by Golden State, Looney had fallen quite short of expectations thanks to a nagging hip injury, eventually requiring surgical repair.
By losing some weight and getting back to the fundamentals of the game, Looney earned a spot within the Warriors rotation. When the playoffs hit, Looney proved his worth even further by averaging nearly 20 minutes per game in the first three rounds, including a gritty seven-game-series in the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets.
Now, after winning back-to-back championships with the Warriors, Looney will enter the Summer of 2018 as an unrestricted free agent following the Warriors decision to decline the fourth-year option of his contract.
Looney caught up with SFBay in an after landing in Oakland Saturday afternoon in an exclusive interview and shed some light on his feeling entering the summer as a free agent:
“I’m going to sit down with my agent and see what’s out there. This is my first time being a free agent so I don’t know how this works; it’s all brand new to me. I’m going to sit down later and really think about it.”
Per league rules, the Warriors can offer Looney $2.3 million, which is what Looney would be earning in 2019 had Golden State elected to exercise his fourth-year option.
Considering his impact on the team this season, and the fact that he was the youngest player on the Warriors roster in 2018, the 22-year-old could be on the verge of landing a lucrative deal during the offseason.
Entering the waters as a first-time free agent, though, Looney also says he will look to his teammates for advice and guidance this summer:
“I talked to JaVale [McGee], Andre [Iguodala] — I’m really going to talk to Andre some more — [David] West, Zaza [Pachulia]. I always talk to them when I have questions so I’m going to talk to them and see what they think and what I should do because they’ve been there and done that before.”
Although this offseason will carry significant weight in terms of Looney’s future, not only with the Warriors but in the NBA as a whole, the now two-time NBA Champion says that he’s not worried about making the decision now:
“Of course [I’d want to stay in Golden State]. It’s a dynasty. Any time you get a chance to win a championship every year its hard to turn down. But this is my first time being a free agent so I don’t know how this works. Right now I want to enjoy this championship and worry about that later.”