Veteran Warriors Big Man Could Land in NY Next Season: Report

Kevon Looney

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

The Golden State Warriors could have the answer to an open question about the New York Knicks’ frontcourt.

Amid reports that the Knicks could be parting ways with center Mitchell Robinson after this season, one report suggests that a veteran Warriors big man could fill the potential void in New York. The Warriors, meanwhile, could have a replacement center waiting in the wings.

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Knicks Could Target Warriors Vet

The New York Post’s Marc Berman reported that the Knicks were failing to make progress in contract discussions with Robinson, and the 23-year-old center could be likely to leave when he hits unrestricted free agency. As Berman noted, the frustrations seemed to spill out in a tweet from Robinson this week making it clear he was not pleased with his role in the offense.

“Everyone knows when everybody gets involved and the ball moving and everyone touching the ball the energy and effort goes to another level,” Robinson wrote. “Let me as[k] you this and be 100% with your answer. how would you feel just running up and down the court for 48 or even for 20 minutes?”

There would be a number of options for the Knicks to replace Robinson if he does leave, Berman wrote, including Warriors center Kevon Looney. The steady veteran is averaging 6.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game this season, both career highs.

“Overshadowed for a long time among the Warriors glitterati, Looney makes $5 million this season and likely would command a chunk of the Knicks’ $10 million mid-level exception if they remain an over-the-cap team,” Berman wrote. “The former 30th pick, whom the Knicks worked out before that 2015 draft, is active and a winner, but doesn’t have a big upside. He wouldn’t complicate the Knicks’ books too much, assuming they could get him for the room exception of $5 million if they go the cap-space route.”

Warriors Readying Their Center of the Future

While Looney has been a fixture of the starting lineup for the Warriors this season — starting all 62 games, the only player on the team to do so — he may not keep that spot for long. The team is preparing for the return of 20-year-old center James Wiseman, who has missed close to a full year after a knee injury and subsequent surgery cut short his rookie year. The No. 2 overall pick had been in the starting lineup last season and is expected to be a major building block for the future of the Warriors, which could make Looney expendable this offseason.

But Warriors coach Steve Kerr has also warned that Wiseman will likely not jump back into the same role he had before, noting that he had lost a significant amount of time. As Kerr pointed out, Wiseman has yet to go through a full training camp, having missed the one during his rookie season due to a COVID-19 infection.

“What I will always keep circling back to is this guy needs reps, he needs 1,000 reps, he needs a summer league, he needs a training camp,” Kerr said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “So, let’s temper the expectations but be excited about his future because as he gets those reps, he’s got the potential to be a tremendous player.”

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