A few years back I started a thread saying that Draymond should start at the 4 moving forward. This was during the final year of Mark Jackson and I was convinced that Draymond starting would be an immense boon to our defense and would also strengthen the bench by putting D Lee as the backup center to feast on second units. This did happen to some extent, but poor D Lee never got to fulfill his role as sixth man bench scorer because Speights started playing the 5 and Kerr saw Lee's basketball IQ as reason to use him as a post passer...
Anywho, it's interesting looking at this thread and the varying opinions on Looney's minutes and comparing it to how we viewed Draymond on this board in 2013-2014. To some extent I understand Kerr's preference for deploying Looney as the super sub off of the bench, especially if the team is worried about preserving Looney's health. But I do think that a lot of those concerns come out of this somewhat misguided belief that Looney is undersized at the center, which is something I don't really buy. Yes, Looney is smaller than some of the beefier western conference 5's like Adams, Gobert, Cousins, and Jokic, but Looney has a long wingspan and he's only an inch shorter than Dwight Howard. Obviously Loon isn't built like Howard, but it doesn't really scare me to think of Looney facing up against the bigger 5's in this league. If they want to attack him, go ahead. Loon is a solid defender and that's a fine way to waste possessions.
I think I'm mostly in favor of Looney being the bench big so that WCS can have almost all of his minutes attached to Russell so they can lob together, but going back to the Draymond arguments makes me wonder if it doesn't just make more sense to play the higher impact player as much as possible. In the 2013-2014 thread about Dray as a starter, several posters whose opinions I respect -- Sleepy in particular -- argued that Draymond was best used as a fixer off the bench to put out fires and stabilize the bench. That argument wasn't wrong, but the team truly took off when Draymond became a starter. I don't think this team has as a high ceiling and I don't think Looney will have the same impact as Draymond did in the starting lineup, but I do think down the road it will probably make sense for Looney to be our long term starting C.
A fun fact: Draymond was 24 years old when he entered the starting line up in 2014-2015 as a third year player. Looney is going to be 23 to start the season as a fifth year player. Looney has a long career ahead of him and he's still 3-4 years from his prime, which bodes well for the future.