WESTWOOD—Kevon Looney’s fall in the 2015 NBA Draft came to an abrupt ending Thursday night when the UCLA forward was chosen by the 2015 NBA champions with the 30th and final pick of the first round.
Though Looney was considered a potential lottery selection, draft day reports of a nagging hip injury scared away a number of potential suitors, paving the way for the Golden State Warriors to nab the talented player.
“There’s no question,” UCLA coach Bryce Alford said. “He definitely dropped because of that. Fortunately, he dropped into a great situation.”
Though Looney surely would have preferred to come off the board much earlier, it is undeniable that he is entering a dream situation, one that is perhaps better than any in the NBA. Looney is a perfect fit for a Golden State offense that won three straight games in the NBA Finals by playing small ball and outrunning a suddenly beleaguered Cavaliers squad.
Looney, who has an alluring combination of size and scoring ability, should be able to make a significant impact as a swing forward that can fit whatever style of offense coach Steve Kerr should choose to play, whether it be big or small.
However, one reality that Looney will need to accept, especially in the early stages of his career, is that he’s going to play for the defending champions. The former Bruin, though talented, will have to scratch and claw for significant minutes on a team that some believe has the potential to be historically good.
Note: In addition to Looney’s selection, senior guard Norman Powell went 46th overall to the Milwaukee Bucks, who subsequently traded Powell to Toronto in exchange for Greivis Vasquez.