My scattered and amateur thoughts on Looney after Summer League

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Well, I ended up writing a whole lot more than I anticipated so I have copy and pasted this comment into a FanPost at Nate's recommendation. :stuck_out_tongue: Anyways, here are my armchair thoughts on Looney after 6 games of Summer League.


It appears Draft Express was pretty spot on with Kevon Looney:


-Rebounding ability

-Defensive potential

-Floor spacing

-Offensive flashes (straight line drives and court vision)


-Scoring ability


-Consistency (Not unexpected from a 19yo #30 pick)

Looney does not appear to be an elite athlete, and that will limit his ceiling. While he’s not Stainbrook athletically, Kevon Durant he is not. I wouldn’t call it a weakness just yet though.

As for the weaknesses, he obviously needs to add strength. Jerry West has even publicly stated that Looney isn’t strong enough for the NBA. He’ll also need to improve his conditioning. I noticed a couple times Looney getting beat down the floor in transition after a made bucket, kinda looking like he wanted to take a breather. Things did seem to improve as summer league went on, and he actually got more mpg as games went on. I didn’t notice Looney with his hands on his hips or knees as much against the Pelicans compared to the previous games. Seems like a good sign.

His scoring weakness was apparent in summer league. DraftExpress noted a lack of footwork, explosiveness, and touch to get to and finish around the rim against a set defense. Looney did not disprove this. He’s got no post game and barring the dunk against the Pelicans, Looney has been unable to reliably get by his man and to the rim. His dribble drives and finishes look clunky and awkward. He’s often throwing up weak one footed and wrong footed floaters and even when he does get to the rim he’s not finishing as well as you’d like from someone his size. Looney will likely be spending a lot of time with Ron Adams to clean up and develop those skills.

He looks like he can be a versatile defender, but the question will be if he has enough lateral movement to stay in front of NBA-level players on the perimeter, at least enough from the 4 spot for the Warriors switching defense. Certainly his length makes up for some of it. Looney was able to stay in front of Seth Curry for the most part last night. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how he does against proven NBA talent once training camp rolls around. Going against the Blur in practice will certainly size him up quick.

Now for the positive stuff. The good news for Looney is that he likely won’t be asked to carry the scoring load on this Warriors team. Where his roll and post game look clunky and awkward, his pop game looks much smoother and more natural. His jumper is a bit slow though; I recall he got it blocked by a small against NYK. He only took 6 3pt attempts this summer, but he did hit 3 of them. In general Looney has looked pretty decent in catch and shoot situations, particularly in the Pick and Pop. When the defense gets scrambling a little bit, he seems to know to attack the closeout and there is potential for him to make plays for himself or for others. (thanks Lynch’s Golf Cart for the gifs). He may not be a scorer, but he could be a floor stretcher and he’ll find the open man. First, Looney needs to show he can hit the 3 ball at the NBA level, at least the open ones.

Looney’s court vision, ball handling, and decision making also seem as good as advertised. 6 assists and 1 tov during summer league. When Looney has the ball he keeps his eyes up to make the right play instead of going hero ball, as is so common in summer league. He can reportedly go coast to coast, but he didn’t lead the break too much this summer league, so look out for that once training camp starts.

His rebounding is definitely his biggest strength right now. He’s not the strongest or most explosive on the glass, but he seems to have natural instincts for the ball and a huge 7’3" wingspan and 9’2" standing reach that lets him get the ball in traffic. I don’t know how much the offensive rebounding will translate on this Warriors team, but he has been every bit the excellent offensive rebounder as he was in college. Ezeli kept his high offensive rebound rate under Kerr, but that was from the 5 spot. I would actually like to experiment in preseason with a lineup of Curry-Klay chucking 3s and Ezeli-Looney cleaning up the misses lol

For his rookie year development, I’d like to see him focus on his strengths and work on shooting and rebounding at the NBA level, along with general improvements to strength and conditioning. If he translates those two skills he’s already a valuable NBA player. He’s been labelled as having a good work ethic and he appears to have a goodBBIQ, so I’ll be cautiously optimistic about his prospects. He’ll be getting to know Santa Cruz pretty well this year.


Like we expected, Looney looks like a project, but a project because of his skill, length, and BBIQ; not pure raw athleticism. However, that unimpressive athleticism also limits his ceiling. That said, if he proves he can shoot the 3, he will be a great fit with the Warriors as a stretch 4 with the versatility for the Warriors switching defense and court vision for the Warriors offense. He is super young (turned 19 in Feb.) and parts of his game are super duper raw, so it will be up to the Warriors’ staff and Looney himself to develop his skills and maximize the physical gifts he does have. The Warriors already have talent at the positions he would play and he is fairly cheap and under control for a while, so patience will be the key.

Too bad we don’t have Potara earrings, seems like if we could fuse McAdoo’s game and Looney’s game into some McAlooney player we’d really be cooking with gas. :stuck_out_tongue:

EDIT: Added link of Looney's dunk

This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!