#30: Festus Ezeli
The Golden State Warriors took Festus Ezeli with the 30th pick in the NBA Draft.
Ezeli is a 6’11″, 264 pound center from Vanderbilt. At 22-years old, he has potential as a shot-blocker for the Warriors.
In his senior year, Ezeli averaged 5.9 rebounds and 2.0 boards coming off of a knee injury.
Earlier in the night, the Warriors selected UConn forward Harrison Barnes with the 7th pick. Golden State would project to have a starting lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, David Lee and Andrew Bogut.
They hope to bring back restricted free agent Brandon Rush who would join Dorell Wright, Richard Jefferson and Barnes on a long list of small forwards. Rush would probably get backup minutes at the two and Wright is on the trade block.
The Warriors still have Andris Biedrins to back up Bogut, although he’s a contract Golden State would like to move (and really should have used amnesty on).
Ezeli will provide Golden State with size and toughness although he needs to improve as a rebounder. The Warriors have plenty of scorers so Festus won’t have to suddenly provide more than the 10.1 points per game he averaged last season.
Back in October, Ezeli sprained his MCL and PCL (right knee). He also was suspended by the NCAA for six games for a “secondary violation for accepting improper benefits from an alumnus,” (according to the Tennessean).
As the 30th pick, Ezeli will have a base salary of $851k although it’s customary for first-round picks to get a 120% bump which would be $1.02 million. His second year would be $889k/$1.07 million.
His third and fourth year’s salary would be $927k/$1.1 million and $1.7 million/$2.0 million but both are option years for the Warriors.
Golden State also has the 35th and 52nd picks in the second round.