With Kevin Durant making his way to the Golden State Warriors locker room, the effects will be immediate as they have to unload some players to make room for the salary cap for Durant and word is swelling that the Warriors’ big men Festus Ezeli and Andrew Bogut are on their way out.
In Ezeli’s case, the Warriors will have no trouble in releasing him. According to ESPN’s Marc Spears all they have to do is renounce their rights with him, release the qualifying offer and cap hit to change his status from restricted free agent to unrestricted free agent. This will allow him to sign with other teams and the Warriors would just let go of him. Ezeli has a qualifying offer of $3.013 million and a cap hit of $5.021 million.
With Bogut, the Warriors traded him to the Dallas Mavericks for future second round picks in the draft. Paperworks are still being done for the trade of the 31-year old Australian who plays center for the Warriors ever since he was traded from the Milwaukee Bucks in 2012. Details of the trade will be known by July 6.
With Bogut’s trade, t native of Melbourne, Victoria will play side by side with Dirk Nowitzki giving the Mavericks versatility and toughness in the paint. However, injuries shave slowed down Bogut’s production per game. Last season, Bogut averaged 5.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.
Bogut was needed for the Warriors in their finals meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he got injured in Game Five with his right knee and was ruled out for six to eight weeks. The Warriors went on to lose the series in seven games and became the first team in NBA Finals history to lose a series after holding a 3–1 lead.
Joining Bogut in the Mavericks lineup is teammate Harrison Barnes, who according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical will be an unrestricted free agent as well after the Warriors renounce his rights as well. While Bogut and Barnes have their teams for next season, Ezeli will definitely be worth watching out for.
Teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic have already managed to sign in their respective rim protectors. That leaves the Portland Trailblazers in the clear running to sign him.
Durant’s arrival with the Warriors made a huge impact on their roster. They may have landed a huge superstar in their roster but many believe that it will not be enough for them to make a run for the title next season and would not be enough for them to better their historic 73 wins last season.
Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr