Veteran Warriors Starter Could Be Traded for Pacers Star: Insider

Kevon Looney

Getty Kevon Looney handles the ball during a game against the Phoenix Suns.

The Golden State Warriors could benefit from some dysfunction within the Indiana Pacers, with an insider speculating that they could have an inside track at landing the team’s talented big man.

The Pacers appear to be headed into rebuild mode, reportedly open to moving some of their talented players in return for assets that would fuel this new phase. One of the players on the block could be big man Myles Turner, and The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie believes the Warriors have the right combination of players to land him.

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Warriors Could Deal Veteran Center

For the better part of a year, there have been ongoing rumors that the Warriors could look to trade some of their talented young players and their pair of lottery picks in exchange for an established star who would help vault them to title contenders with the expected return of Klay Thompson. The Warriors have held off from making any trades and ultimately used both lottery picks, taking Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.

But Vecenie believes the Warriors could still be a top contender to land Turner, and speculated that another veteran could be included to close out the deal. After The Athletic’s Seth Partnow speculated that the Warriors could trade both the rookie Kuminga and second-year center James Wiseman, Vecenie replied that Golden State could likely get it done without giving up both of their budding young stars and swapping in a veteran starter instead — starting center Kevon Looney.

“I figured you’d be able to deal just Wiseman plus Looney’s salary [to land Turner],” he wrote. “Honestly, I don’t think the Pacers will find a higher-upside asset out there for Turner than just Wiseman alone.”

Looney had not been mentioned in many trade rumors before, with many insiders instead speculating that winger Andrew Wiggins would be included to match up salaries. But that came before he turned in an All-Star caliber season, scoring 18.5 points per game along with 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

Warriors May Be Unlikely to Make Big Moves

The Warriors may not be inclined toward making any big moves. Owner Joe Lacob said last month that he believes the team’s future will depend on having a mix of established stars like Thompson and Steph Curry alongside younger talent being groomed to one day take on bigger roles.

“First of all, this is the only path,” Lacob told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami,. “There is no other path. I don’t really understand what people are talking about. We have the highest payroll in the history of the NBA by a longshot. So we are all-in. But I believe, we believe — our coaching staff and our basketball operations staff — the great teams have a combination of types of talent. You want to be able to play different ways. You want to have young players that are developing and you want to have the great ones that are already there.”

While it’s not clear if the Warriors would be interested, it appears that Turner could be on the move soon. The Pacers big man sounded off this week on his place with the team, saying he’s not happy as a “glorified role player.”

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Suzy Fischer
Suzy Fischer
8 months ago

Oh no, not Kevon! I LOVE Kevon! He’s like the slightly pudgy awkward kid you knew in middle school who just happened to grow up to be 6’9″. I love the way he walks onto the court, like he’s slightly embarrassed to be there, and then he proceeds to completely blindside older, more polished veteran players. From one former slightly pudgy awkward kid to another: Never lose that Kevon! It’s your superpower!

Rolland Makinano
Rolland Makinano
8 months ago

Not likely to happen.
Looney is rock solid.
How rock solid?
21-4 rock solid as the starter.
Its working why change it.

Wiseman has the potential
to become a dominant center,
we need to give him that chance.
JK and Moody are up and coming
learning from the best.

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