NBA champs add frontcourt depth, shooting, with selection of UCLA's Looney



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Kevon Looney, right, greets NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected 30th overall by the Golden State Warriors during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)


Kevon Looney, right, greets NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected 30th overall by the Golden State Warriors during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)


OAKLAND, California — There are varying reports about the severity of Kevon Looney's hip injury. None of them were enough to dissuade the Golden State Warriors from selecting the 19-year-old UCLA freshman with their first-round draft pick.

Given the tremendous depth on Golden State's roster, Looney will have plenty of time to get his health right while acclimating to the pros.

That is, if he's even hurt.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers said that despite reports Looney might miss the upcoming season, the team has no indication that the rookie's situation is serious.

"If he needs to take some time to recover from anything that might be there or not, then he will and we're fine with that," Myers said. "But we have no indication that anything has to happen. If there's something, we'll deal with it. We have no indication that he needs something or has to have any type of procedures done."

Six days after the parade celebrating their first NBA championship in 40 years left city streets awash in blue and gold confetti, the Warriors added the 6-foot-9, 220-pound Looney with their first draft pick in three years.

Looney averaged 11.6 points and 9.2 rebounds during his only season at UCLA. Looney led all college freshmen with 15 double-doubles while helping the Bruins to the Sweet 16.

He'll find minutes hard to come by with the Warriors.

Because Golden State had one of the deepest teams in the NBA last season — a squad built largely through the draft — the Warriors had the luxury of drafting a player without the need for him to make an immediate impact.

"With our roster, the way it's constructed, it would be hard for anybody we drafted to get a chance to crack the rotation," Myers said. "He's a skilled player and he fits our system. He's a good shooter ... so he's got some upside. Whoever you draft at 30, they're going to have to get better no matter who it is."

Golden State didn't have a selection in either 2013 or '14, having traded the picks away. One of those trades resulted in the Warriors getting Andre Iguodala, who was the MVP of the NBA Finals during the team's championship run.

Looney, who played power forward with the Bruins, is a physical rebounder who can also score from the perimeter. He was UCLA's best 3-point shooter last season when he shot 41.5 percent from beyond the arc.

That should make him a good fit with Golden State's Splash Brothers — guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Curry, the NBA regular-season MVP, broke his own NBA record for 3-pointers this season with 286.

"Not many guys that size can grab a rebound and go coast to coast and finish on the break," Myers said.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr was certainly relaxed while waiting more than three hours until Golden State made its pick. At one point he walked by where the media was assembled wearing blue shorts and a gray team T-shirt.

There had been speculation that Golden State might try to trade forward David Lee in a draft-day move, but nothing happened. Lee is entering the final year of his contract and will earn nearly $15.5 million next season.

"I don't think this selection should be looked at as a precursor to any moves," Myers said. "There was nothing that was discussed in a major form."

Lee is still likely to be moved, though probably not until free agency begins in July.

One player who will be coming back to help the Warriors defend their championship is guard Brandon Rush, who exercised his player option for the 2015-16 season earlier in the day.

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