Sources: Festus Ezeli agrees to Blazers deal

The Vertical
Yahoo Sports
Festus Ezeli (AP)
Festus Ezeli (AP)

Free-agent center Festus Ezeli has agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, league sources told The Vertical.

The deal includes a team option on the second year, sources said.

To create the salary cap space to sign Ezeli, the Blazers waived second-year forward Cliff Alexander, league sources told The Vertical.

Ezeli will compete for minutes with Portland’s Mason Plumlee at center.

Ezeli, 26, became expendable when the Golden State Warriors and Kevin Durant agreed to a deal, and Zaza Pachulia accepted a below-market $2.9 million contract. The Warriors rescinded Ezeli’s qualifying offer, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent.

Ezeli met with Blazers officials and medical staff late Wednesday and into Thursday, and reached agreement on a deal Thursday night. Ezeli missed six weeks of the regular season after left knee surgery and concerns over his sturdiness likely cost him a stronger financial commitment in the free-agent market.

Ezeli joins Evan Turner as part of the Blazers’ summer free-agent class. The Blazers have three restricted free agents: Meyers Leonard, Allen Crabbe and Maurice Harkless.

As the 30th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, Ezeli developed into a solid backup center to Andrew Bogut in Golden State. Ezeli averaged seven points and 5.6 rebounds in 46 games last season.

 

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