The Golden State Warriors are fresh off winning their fourth championship in eight years.
It was a tremendous effort spearheaded by Stephen Curry’s brilliant play that paved the way for this most recent title, but he wasn’t the lone crucial piece of the puzzle.
A number of guys stepped up big for Golden State – particularly in the playoffs.
Recently, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr named one particular ‘irreplaceable’ player that his team cannot afford to lose going forward.
“He’s been really good for us over the years, but this year in particular, he’s taken a leap to a point where he’s just irreplaceable for us,” Kerr said. “And he played in every game, and he’s a guy we count on.”
Although he averaged less than six points per game in the postseason, Looney made his impact felt in other ways. For example: he led the team in rebounding in the playoffs with 7.6 per outing. He also had the most offensive rebounds of any player in the postseason with 63 total.
When he did get the rare opportunity to score, Looney converted on 66 percent field goal efficiency.
Without Looney’s efforts, none of Curry’s provocative post-Finals celebrations would have been possible.
Looney is entering this summer as a free agent. He is fresh off a 3-year, $14.4 million contract and looking to see if his role in the Warriors’ most recent title run will enhance his value.
Time will tell.
Klay Thompson had a clear first move in mind for when he won a title. Golden State’s front office should follow his lead; only their first move should be re-signing Looney.
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 26, 2022
The 26-year-old was an instrumental part of the team’s championship run and should be rewarded as such.
Where will Looney ultimately suit up come next season?
Time will tell.
Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7’s go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.