The Portland Trail Blazers will sign center Festus Ezeli to a two-year deal worth $16 million, The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
Ezeli’s deal is worth $7.4 million in year one and contains a team option for year two worth $7.33 million, Marc Spears of The Undefeated reports.
Originally a restricted free agent, Ezeli’s rights were renounced by the Golden State Warriors this week. Golden State needed to remove his cap hold in order to sign Kevin Durant. Ezeli averaged career-high 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds as a key reserve for the Warriors last season, rotating at center with Andrew Bogut and Marreese Speights.
The 26-year-old Ezeli becomes the latest player to leave Golden State, with Harrison Barnes, Bogut, Brandon Rush and and Leandro Barbosa among the departed pieces.
Ezeli should slide in comfortably to Portland’s pick-and-roll centric offense led by Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. He is the Blazers’ second major free agent signing this off-season, joining Evan Turner, who got four years and $70 million to leave the Boston Celtics.
Ezeli was the 30th overall pick in the 2012 draft. He has never averaged more than 16.7 minutes per game in his career, but should be slated for a larger role with the Blazers.
The Trail Blazers were eliminated by the Warriors in five games in the West semifinals last season.