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Kevon Looney’s collarbone injury unlikely to alter Warriors’ desire to keep him in free agency

Kevon Looney, Warriors

Golden State Warriors big man Kevon Looney suffered a pretty substantial non-displaced first costal cartilage fracture in Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, sidelining him indefinitely. While the injury could very likely end his season at this juncture, it is unlikely that will cost him a job next season, as the Warriors remain intent on re-signing him this summer, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

Looney has been a reason the Warriors have been able to tread water throughout a large stretch of the regular season and most importantly in the postseason, once DeMarcus Cousins went down with an injury after 25 minutes of action:

“Don’t think this affects Kevon Looney’s free agency. This isn’t a debilitating injury,” wrote Slater. “He’s shown the league what he can do. Warriors will prioritize him. His market (which varies, depending on who you ask) shouldn’t be altered by this news.”

Unlike last summer, the Warriors will hold Looney’s Bird rights this time and be able to properly reward him for his contributions.

The UCLA product has had his best season yet, averaging career highs across the board — 6.3 points on 62.5% shooting, 5.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.

The 6-foot-9 forward/center hybrid has been a rock this season, starting in 24 of his career-high 80 games played, becoming one of the most durable and reliable options, whether he’s joining the starters or coming off the bench in his usual second-unit support role.

Golden State will be thin at center with Cousins expected to sign elsewhere and Andrew Bogut likely returning to his native Australia after the season concludes.

Reliable talent is tough to come by, and Looney has already proven he’s a snug fit for this championship-caliber roster, making his eventual re-signing a no-brainer.