The Golden State Warriors have a history of striking out when it comes to drafting big men over the last decade and the list includes Ekpe Udoh, Anthony Randolph, Jermareo Davidson, Patrick O’Bryant and Kosta Perovic. With pick no.30 Festus Ezeli a center out of Vanderbilt University will be looking to break that trend.
In his junior year he provided his best statistical season averaging 13 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, on 58.8 percent shooting and 64.8 percent from the free throw line. Overall, he averaged 7.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.7 blocks on 56.2 percent from the field and 58.4 percent on free throws.
At the center spot, the Warriors do not have great depth. Starter Andrew Bogut will be back by the regular season opener as he’s coming back from an ankle injury and with Andris Biedrins continuing to struggle with injuries and a lack of confidence,Ezeli gets a chance at playing time though Mark Jackson may decide to go with the more experienced player.
Though that might not happen because Biedrins even with his continued regress still rebounds the basketball.
Ezeli’s strengths include his length–as he has a 7’4″ wing span–and he can take advantage on the offensive glass. His weaknesses include a very limited offensive game and rebounding the basketball.
During the Summer League in 20.2 minutes per game he averaged 4.4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks on 36.4 percent shooting and 60 percent from the free throw line.
With his limited offensive game and needing to improve his rebounding skills the best place for Ezeli is the D-League, so he can showcase his skills for later in the season if there are any injuries. If he isn’t sent down he will see minutes when games are out of reach or for a limited amount of time to give short rests.
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