Boston Celtics: Kevon Looney floated as a taxpayer MLE candidate

Kevon Looney was floated as a taxpayer's MLE candidate for the Boston Celtics Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kevon Looney was floated as a taxpayer's MLE candidate for the Boston Celtics Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

Boston Celtics fans likely wish they had many different championship components the Golden State Warriors flashed during the 2022 NBA Finals. The vaunted ‘death lineup’ the Warriors used as their first five–which inserted Otto Porter into the starting lineup at the expense of a traditional center–led to three straight wins to close the Cs out.

A proven NBA Finals performer is another aspect of the Dubs’ roster that is evidently missing in Boston. Granted, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown did win two Finals games and are clearly earmarked for future successes whether with the Celtics or not.

Still, Steph Curry showed out in a way that no home member of the T.D. Garden locker-room has performed in the Finals since Paul Pierce in 2008, and Larry Bird before that. It’s been a while since the Cs made it this far and were carried over the hump.

The Warriors have an enviable roster, and it will surely be one that other teams decimate as free agency begins. Otto Porter is a Dubs starter the Celtics figure to be interested in, but the taxpayer’s MLE may not be able to sway him away from the Bay. Gary Payton II similarly figures to be too pricey for the Cs, whose $6 million MLE won’t be his highest offer by a long-shot.

Someone who could be attainable, though, is Kevon Looney. Looney was drafted in 2015 by Golden State and has won three titles in his seven seasons. He made under $6 million the past three seasons, having signed a three-year, $14.4 million extension in 2019 with the Warriors following his rookie deal. Looney made an annual average salary of $4.8 million during the duration of the deal.

CBS Sports’ Sam Quinn floated the possibility of Looney for the Boston Celtics:

"“Looney is a free agent, and Boston was interested in him when he last hit the market in 2019. Maybe he’s gettable for the tax mid-level exception just to juice the rebounding slightly.”"

The Boston Celtics would have Kevon Looney competition with the Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Hornets

The competition for Kevon Looney will go beyond just the incumbent Golden State Warriors. According to Tristi Rodriguez of NBC Sports Bay Area, the Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Hornets will also be in pursuit of the former first-round draft selection:

And as he enters NBA free agency, teams already have their eyes on the big man.

"“Among those teams: the Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Hornets. The Kings, who hired Golden State assistant coach Mike Brown as their new head coach, are looking to get a familiar face to join forces with Brown in Sactown. Meanwhile, the Hornets were trying to do the same.”"

The Houdini’s money is on the Warriors pivot will stay in place, playing for the only franchise and head coach (Steve Kerr) that he has ever known.

Next. CP: Marcus Smart and this Cs second unit star must be traded. dark