Golden State Warriors: Festus Ezeli Cleared to Play

Golden State Warriors center Festus Ezeli missed all of last season while recovering from right knee surgery. Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group reported today that Ezeli has been cleared to play and that he expects to play in the Las Vegas Summer League next month.

Ezeli showed up at a Warriors’ basketball camp in Santa Rosa today, and he explained to Leung that he hopes to get his rhythm back and start to feel more comfortable out on the court in Summer League.

Ezeli also mentioned how he’s working on adding more explosiveness now that he’s able to do more intensive drills on the court. He’s been playing some pickup games in Sacramento, and he’s already seen some improvement in that department.

Leung also talked to Ezeli about the Warriors’ hiring of Steve Kerr. Ezeli was a Mark Jackson supporter, but he’s excited to see what Kerr can bring to the team. He also said that he met with Kerr recently.

“He knows what I bring to the table, and he’s excited to coach me,” Ezeli said. “I’m excited for a new year to actually finally be playing. It’s going to be fun.

“We’ve got to buy into Steve Kerr because we all want to win, so I know we’ll all do that.”

In the 2012-2013 season, Ezeli’s rookie season, he averaged just 2.4 points on 43.8 percent shooting and 4.0 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game, but he showed lots of promise on the defensive end. In his small allotment of minutes, Ezeli averaged 0.9 blocks per game.

He has great defensive instincts, he can defend, he can rebound, and he can make shots more difficult for opponents. Hopefully for Warriors fans, Ezeli will be able to stay healthy and grow more offensively under Kerr this upcoming season. Given Andrew Bogut’s injury history and the fact that Jermaine O’Neal will most likely retire, Ezeli could become an important asset to the Warriors next season.