UCLA Basketball: Ex-Bruin, NBA Champ Likely To Be Cut By Current Team

He could reach free agency sooner than he had perhaps expected.
Mar 27, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Kevin Pangos (4) drives past UCLA Bruins guard Norman Powell (4) and forward Kevon Looney (5) during the second half in the semifinals of the south regional of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 27, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Kevin Pangos (4) drives past UCLA Bruins guard Norman Powell (4) and forward Kevon Looney (5) during the second half in the semifinals of the south regional of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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Former All-Pac-12 Second Team UCLA Bruins power forward/center Kevon Looney may be on his way out from the only NBA destination he's ever known.

Per Tim Kawakami of The Warriors Plus Minus Podcast, the Golden State Warriors could cut their three-time champion center. The 6-foot-9 big man, after appearing to turn the corner from 2021-23 and emerge as a critical two-way piece for the Dubs, regressed in 2023-24. He averaged 4.5 points on 59.7 percent field goal shooting and 67.5 percent shooting from the foul line, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.8 dimes last year, and was demoted from his starting role in favor of future Hall of Famer Draymond Green, whom Steve Kerr shifted up to a gig as a small ball five.

Looney is owed $8 million in 2024-25, but only $3 million of that deal is guaranteed. Golden State could attempt to re-sign him to a veteran's minmum contract. He could also look to net more in free agency, after spending all nine of his pro seasons with the Dubs. A one-and-done player with the Bruins, Looney was selected by the Warriors with the No. 30 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He was the club's starting center for its most recent championship, in 2022, but was a reserve during its 2017 and '18 title runs.

During his UCLA run, Looney started all 36 of his games with the Bruins, averaging 11.6 points on .470/.415/.626 shooting splits, 9.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.9 blocks per bout. That Steve Alford-led squad went 22-14 (11-7 in the Pac-12), and as a No. 11 seed managed to advance all the way to the South Regional Semifinal Round.

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Alex Kirschenbaum

ALEX KIRSCHENBAUM

Alex likes slam dunks, take him to the hoop. His favorite play is the alley-oop.