Warriors’ Potential Kevon Looney Replacement ‘Could Be More Available’: Insider

Kevon Looney, Warriors

Getty Kevon Looney #5 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates a basket in the first quarter against the Brooklyn Nets.

Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton, who was earlier linked to the Golden State Warriors, could be playing somewhere else after next Thursday’s trade deadline.

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, there are rumblings that Claxton is not untouchable.

“I’ve heard more than once this week not to discount the idea that Brooklyn big man Nic Claxton could be more available over the next seven days than previously advertised,” Stein wrote in his substack newsletter on February 1. “There are mixed signals in circulation about the Nets’ plans with Claxton as unrestricted free agency looms this summer.”

On January 30, The Athletic’s Anthony Slater mentioned Claxton as one of the three centers on the Warriors’ radar as a potential replacement for Kevon Looney.

“The Warriors have explored the center market. Could Wendell Carter Jr. be obtained from the Orlando Magic? Atlanta’s Clint Capela is reportedly available. Is Brooklyn’s Nic Claxton worth the price it’d take to get him and whatever contract he’d command in free agency this summer?” Slater wrote.

The 24-year-old Claxton is averaging a career-high 10.4 rebounds on top of 12.4 points and 2.1 blocks this season for the Nets, who are a fringe play-in team.

Kevon Looney Is the Odd Man Out

Looney had seen his minutes drastically drop since Draymond Green returned from his second suspension.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr has committed to a new starting five with Green as the small-ball center, flanked by rising star Jonathan Kuminga and resurgent Andrew Wiggins, at the frontcourt.

“I don’t think Loon has a bigger fan than me,” Kerr said when he appeared as a guest at 95.7 The Game’s “Willard & Dibs” show on January 31. “So this has been a hard thing for me to go away from… He’s my guy and that doesn’t mean he’s not going to make an impact. I still think he will but you know, things have turned away from him for the time being.”

Looney has only played a combined 13 minutes over the Warriors last two games.

His fall from Kerr’s grace is so sudden after enjoying a career year last season.

His numbers — 7.0 points on 63% shooting, 9.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists — last season were all career highs. He was the Warriors’ Iron Man over the last two seasons, playing all 82 regular-season games.

But this season, Looney became the victim of the Warriors’ roster crunch and Kerr’s endless search for the best combination that could turn their season around.

Warriors Have No Interest in Breaking up Dynasty Core

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported on Wednesday, January 31, on “SportsCenter” that the Warriors have no interest in moving Green or Klay Thompson before the trade deadline.

The NBA insider added, “The Warriors could look into trading Chris Paul, who is on an expiring contract, or Andrew Wiggins, who has had a difficult season with the team.”

The Warriors have already explored trading Wiggins in the past weeks. But they did not find a return that they liked, according to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater.

“The Warriors have fielded player-for-player offers for Wiggins, according to team and league sources. They wouldn’t have to attach a draft pick to get off his deal.

But nothing has made them jump. Wiggins has upped his production and activity lately. He’s back in their starting and closing lineup, able finally to play next to Kuminga (a huge factor in his future) because of Green’s return as the starting center,” Slater wrote on January 30.

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