Basketball

Warriors rumors: Where things stand with Kevon Looney, Gary Payton II

According to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, the Golden State Warriors are prioritizing bringing Kevon Looney and Gary Paton II back to Chase Center. 

The Golden State Warriors won another championship for revered veterans such as Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.

But the team’s younger players — Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney and Gary Payton II — were also invaluable to the franchise’s seventh chip.

NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole describes Looney’s “unspectacular uniqueness” as a tremendous asset to the Warriors, one the Warriors are fighting to retain.

The Athletic’s Anthony Slater reported that Kevon Looney is a top priority as the free agency period approaches. Additionally, the team is considered to be the favorite to retain Gary Payton II, although the Dallas Mavericks are considered to be their biggest competition for Payton.

Warriors insider report: Kevon Looney, Gary Payton II are team’s top free agency priorities

According to Slater, the team is expected to meet with Looney’s representation in the early portion of NBA free agency, which begins on Thursday, June 30 at 3 p.m. PT.

“There is no bigger or more urgent situation than Looney’s,” Slater wrote. “He is the top priority.”

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr recently illustrated why Looney is so integral to this team, per Poole:

“The thing that Loon provides, which is pretty unique, is that he allows us to stay big when other teams are playing small,” coach Steve Kerr told NBC Sports Bay Area this week. “You’ve got to be able to switch defensively with your ‘5’ man. If you can do that and still have a great presence in the paint from a defensive and rebounding standpoint, now you’re cooking.

Every team is looking at a big man who can switch in the playoffs, and there just aren’t many of them. When you see that, combined with the elite rebounding and the health, man, did he take a leap this year.”

Slater also noted that the Warriors are the favorite to keep Payton, who “provides a level of defensive disruption and ball pressure that is difficult to duplicate on the wing.”

The Reddit thread featuring Slater’s report includes several other Warriors free agency notes, such as the note that the Warriors “intend to pursue reunions with Otto Porter Jr and Nemanja Bjelica.”

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