Kevon Looney remains stapled in the Golden State Warriors’ starting center spot for the upcoming season.
“Loon will come back as the starter,” Steve Kerr told The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “He has earned that and then some. We’re all thrilled that he’s back. There was a real fear that we’d lose him. To get him back is massive for our team. It sets up well for Loon to continue what he did for us last year. In doing so, he’s really a good mentor for James [Wiseman].”
Looney will enter the 2022-2023 season with a new money bag clinging in his belt, as he inked a three-year, $22.5 million deal to remain in the Bay Area this offseason.
The big man has provided an integral role throughout the course of the Dubs’ fourth title run in eight years, as he played in all of their available games while anchoring the paint alone without James Wiseman.
As Kerr mentioned, it seems that Looney is poised to instruct Wiseman to grow accordingly.
Wiseman wasn’t able to play last season due to alarming knee issues, but with a long layoff making him rejuvenated, he is expected to be active in suiting up again.
As such, Kerr is optimistic on the progress and adjustment of the former No. 2 overall pick to remain off the bench.
“I think this will be a more natural progression for James, one that didn’t really happen his rookie year because of the situation,” Kerr said. “We felt like we needed to get him as much experience as possible, and Looney was coming off a season where he missed all that time with the nerve issues. So this seems much more natural, much more organic.
“Loon is the incumbent, the championship-starting center who has seen everything. Then you have James, who will learn from him and with him and will get his chances as we go. It’s a healthy growth situation for James.”