The Golden State Warriors have selected Kevon Looney with the 30th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft to close out the first round.
With David Lee possibly on the move this offseason and Marreese Speights having a team option, adding a post player could end up being of great value to the team. Looney, in particular, brings the possibility of developing into a player that brings a nice combination of offensive rebounding ability and outside shooting touch over time, if you trust the DraftExpress assessment.
ESPN's Chad Ford had some nice things to say about Looney prior to the draft in a media conference call:
...Kevon Looney out of UCLA, great talent, has a hip injury that teams are nervous about. Not long‑term that's going to derail his career, but short‑term that it might require surgery, that it might be that's going to hold him out for a year, and that's causing the stock to slide. But this was a kid that at one point was ranked in the top five by teams and I think has immense talent. It may take a couple of years, but he might be the guy in five years that you're like, I can't believe that kid went in the teens or 20s.
At only 19-years-old, he's the type of guy who could maybe have room to develop in an organization that has committed a substantial amount of effort and resources to their D-League team.
Although Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group wrote before the draft that the Warriors are wise to keep the pick due to the depth of this draft, the reality is there are no guarantees of success with the 30th pick and Looney is not without his fair share of red flags. While 2012 30th pick, Festus Ezeli, has shown signs of being a productive NBA player, acquiring 2013 30th pick Nemanja Nedovic didn't exactly pan out. Hopefully the outcome of this selection skews more toward the Ezeli side of the spectrum, but we should probably be tempering our expectations despite the usual excitement for draft night.
Steve Kerr to KNBR: "The 30th pick historically has an 11 percent chance of actually making it in the NBA for more than two years."— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) June 26, 2015
Now that the Warriors have made the pick, the next big challenge is to somehow figure out how to pay Draymond Green while also figuring out how to avoid the luxury tax. David Lee remains the player most likely to be shipped out in order to manage the salary cap situation, but for now there's still more uncertainty about how the Warriors will improve themselves this offseason.