July 7, 2016, 6:33 pm
Ezeli’s contract is a bit of a stunner but not so when you consider that he has knee issues and much of the exorbitant numbers that were being kicked around months ago — those were based on the fact all we had ever seen was upside out of him. When the downsides starting rearing their ugly heads, including a prolonged playoff struggle, the market softened considerably and now the Blazers have him on a manageable deal.
One has to wonder what this means for Meyers Leonard, who really should only play as a center due to a lack of foot-speed. As a restricted free agent, which team will decide they want a stretch five that doesn’t block or steal the ball — or based on last year — doesn’t rebound. There is some potential for Leonard to bounce back because he was so miscast, banged-up and under-confident throughout, but it will take the right fit out there to make it work (or worth pursuing).
Blazers to sign Festus Ezeli for 1yr, $7.4M + $7.3M TO, per @MarcJSpearsESPN. Still have $13M room (incl. right to re-sign Crabbe over cap).
— Albert Nahmad (@AlbertNahmad) July 8, 2016
Blazers getting Ezeli at number that allows them to keep all their RFA's, if they so desire. No player will be renounced for this move.
— Jason Quick (@jwquick) July 8, 2016