NBA Rumors: The Warriors' penny-pinching may cost them a fan favorite

Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, Klay Thompson
Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, Klay Thompson / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors will have to make tough decisions regarding their roster this offseason, the first of which may soon happen. According to the Athletics' Tim Kawakami, the Warriors are considering releasing center Kevon Looney before his June 24th guarantee date, which would save them $5 million in salary and significantly more in luxury tax payments.

If true, that would be a surprising development since Looney has been a Warrior since being drafted 30th overall back in 2015. While he wasn't nearly as good in 2023–24, his rebounding and defense have been key to Golden State in recent years. Unfortunately for him and the Warriors, Golden State is facing the second apron unless they make drastic moves.

The goal is for big-spending teams to slash costs, which may result in those teams getting worse. That may increase parity but for the Warriors, it might mean they have to move on from not only Looney but also Klay Thompson.

Are the Warriors making the right decision regarding Kevon Looney?

If the Warriors were to hold onto Looney, he would cost $8 million next season, though they could probably find a stop-gap center in free agency for far less. They also have Trayce Jackson-Davis, who began starting at center late this season and makes a fraction of what Looney is set to make.

The second apron doesn't give Golden State many options so moving on from Looney and figuring out their center situation in free agency may be what they have to do.The Warriors will undoubtedly miss Looney's offensive rebounding, which gave them plenty of second chances to score but they could use that opportunity to find a better offensive player to replace him.

There are also injury concerns with Looney, who missed a lot of time early in his career but became more reliable, though he has continued to struggle with injuries. Ultimately, the Warriors possibly being forced to move on from Looney might be for the best. After all, it would give them more flexibility under the second apron and give them a chance to try out other options at center.