On Feb. 17, the Warriors were 42-9 and enjoying the All-Star break.
On Feb. 17, Kevon Looney was seventh in Chad Ford's Mock Draft 3.0.
A little over four months later, Looney somehow fell to the Warriors at No. 30 overall.
"We were surprised Kevon was there. Pleasantly surprised," Warriors GM Bob Myers said at Looney's introductory press conference. "We were thrilled that Kevon was there. We were hoping for him. We had Kevon rated way higher than 30 on our draft board. So when he was there, it was an easy decision."
Leading up to the draft, reports surfaced claiming teams were concerned about a hip injury that Looney sustained early during his freshman year at UCLA.
The 6'9" power forward acknowledged the issue when asked about it by CSNBayArea.com's Monte Poole on June 26.
"I actually feel good right now. I had suffered a hip injury when I first got to UCLA. I played the whole season with it. I went through the workouts with it. I still can play now, I can play just fine," Looney declared. "I'm not hurting right now. I'm gonna look at the doctors (and let them) tell me what they really want me to do, but this is an injury I had and I can actually play with, and do well with."
Looney averaged 11.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game during his only season in Westwood, and led all freshman with 15 double-doubles.
Yet his draft stock plummeted.
"I was really disappointed. I didn’t know why I fell," Looney recently told Jordan Ramirez of WarriorsWorld.net. "I felt that I did pretty well in my workouts. Nobody really when I played outplayed me. So, that is why I was disappointed. But the best thing happened, I went to the best team in the league and I have a chance to go in learn and develop my game...
"I feel really fortunate. I get to learn the winning ways. I have no pressure, really. I just come in and learn and get better and have a chance to be in the playoffs and compete for a championship and I have a chance to get a ring. That is what every basketball player dreams about."
Looney's development began with summer league.
After scoring just five points and three points respectively in the Warriors' first two games in Vegas, he found his groove over the next four contests:
- 13 points, seven rebounds (five offensive)
- 11 points (1-for-2 3s), four rebounds (two offensive)
- 11 points (1-for-2 3s), nine rebounds
- 13 points (1-for-2 3s), 11 rebounds (six offensive), three assists
Looney is relentless on the offensive glass, has a chance to be an elite rebounder (he has a 7' 3.5" wingspan), and is developing his range.
He shot over 41 percent from deep in college, but the NBA 3-pointer is a different beast.
Looney isn't concerned about the adjustment because he trusts his jump shot.
"I’m real comfortable with it," Looney told Ramirez. "It’s something I did at UCLA. There was a lot of pick-and-pop and stretching the floor out. I hope to continue that and I know the line goes farther, so I’ll have to extend my range.
"I’ve been real streaky from the three-point line from NBA range. I’m just trying to be more consistent. I’m real comfortable with shooting the ball, it’s something I feel good doing and that’s one of my strengths."
What about weaknesses?
"Get stronger, mature my body ... I don’t know how much (weight) I want to add yet. I’m going to sit down with the strength coach and talk to him and see what their plan is for me," Looney said. "I feel comfortable gaining weight, so I’m going to try and gain weight, I just don’t know how much yet."
Golden State will open training camp sometime in late September, giving Looney plenty of time to rest his body and work on his game.
The Warriors are the defending champions and will return a loaded roster, which could give Looney the opportunity to develop in Santa Cruz with the team's D-League affiliate.
Perhaps he follow's a path similar to James Michael McAdoo's.
"Looney is a really interesting young player -- only 19 years old, a year out of high school, so he's got a long ways to go," Steve Kerr told CSN Bay Area's Jim Kozimor last week. "But very skilled, good size and length. I think he's got a chance to be a good player. He's got a lot of work ahead but he's a talented young player."