Warriors draft Festus Ezeli with 30th and final pick of first round

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Warriors draft Festus Ezeli with 30th and final pick of first round

Warriors minority owner Jerry West said on Wednesday that one area where the team had to get better was in the toughness department. Well, it took a little while, but Golden State got around to it with their second pick.With the No. 30 overall pick the last one in Round 1 the Warriors selected Vanderbilts Festus Ezeli, a 6-foot-11, 255-pound center who is far more of a defender than an offensive player.Ezeli, 22, played four years for the Commodores, and he averaged 10.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 23.2 minutes per game. He exited Vanderbilt as the teams all-time leader in blocked shots.I will do whateverI have to do, Ezeli said on a conference call. I will run through a wall. Iwill work as hard as I can. Whatever they ask me to do I will try my best to doit. if they want me to be a tough guy, thats what Ill be.Ezeli shot 56 percent from the field for his career at Vanderbilt, but that number speaks more to how limited he is on offense rather than his efficiency.His story is a compelling one. Ezeli graduated from high school in Nigeria at the age of 14, and then moved the U.S. to live with his uncle.The Warriors had Ezeli in for a workout on June 11, when he went up against North Carolina center Tyler Zeller. Apparently, Ezeli held his own -- and then some that day."I played well at theworkout," Ezeli said. "They were open about their interest in me. They told me they liked meas a player and I was very coachable and that my best days were ahead of me. They wereexcited to have me there. The coaches, GM, we all got a long."

Warriors stay ready, strike gold amid the 2017 NBA Draft scramble

Warriors stay ready, strike gold amid the 2017 NBA Draft scramble

OAKLAND -- Considering their status as reigning champs without a pick, members of the Warriors personnel department could have turned out the lights and left team headquarters to watch the NBA Draft from a nearby tavern.

They instead stayed in business mode Thursday night, observing the draft-night chaos up close, waiting for the right moment and the right player.

And for the second consecutive year, the Warriors paid a team for its 38th overall draft pick, sending a reported $3.5 million to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for the rights to Oregon big man Jordan Bell, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

“Everybody we talked to had a lot of good things to say about him,” president/general manager Bob Myers said. “He’s one of the few guys we looked at and really wanted to see if we could get. I actually was not optimistic we would be able to get him. But somehow it came to fruition.”

Myers added that the Warriors, along with many mock drafts, projected Bell as a first-round pick.

Bell led the Pac-12 in field-goal percentage (63.6) while shooting almost exclusively in the paint. The 6-foot-9 center/forward was sixth among Pac-12 rebounders at 8.8 per game and 13th in steals at 1.3 per game.

The Long Beach Poly High product possesses a wingspan a fraction shy of 7-feet and bears, by some accounts, a resemblance to Draymond Green inasmuch as he is a defense-first player with a deep reservoir of energy.

It’s a comparison that Bell, asked about it, embraces.

“Draymond, because people always say I’m undersized,” Bell told Basketball Insiders last month. “He’s one of those players you can’t really say what position he is, but he’s a force on defense.”

Moreover, Myers cited Green as one of the players best suited to mentor Bell.

“Draymond is a good one,” the GM said. “He’s not afraid to tell players what he thinks. He’s going to be a good teacher.”

Bell in three seasons became the Ducks’ all-time leader in blocks. He blocked eight shots in a Midwest Regional win over Kansas that sent Oregon to the Final Four. He became during the NCAA Tournament the first player since Hakeem Olajuwon (in 1985) to snag at least 12 rebounds in five consecutive tournament games.

“Defending is one of my best attributes,” Bell told Basketball Insiders. “Being able to switch 1-through-5. Play small ball. Blocking shots. Timing. Decision-making on offense.”

These are the characteristics that prompted the Warriors to put a red-letter “B” next to Bell’s name on their draft board -- even though his offensive skills are unrefined.

“We love his ability to defend,” Myers said. “He could probably defend most positions, and in the NBA that’s huge. To be able to switch pick-and-rolls, rebound, block shots, finish, there are a lot of boxes he checks.

“ . . . We just like the way he plays basketball. We’ll find a place for him.”

The Warriors also are closing in on a deal for one of Bell’s Oregon teammates. Forward Chris Boucher is expected to sign a two-way contract with the team.

“That’s something we’re trying to move toward,” Myers said of Boucher, who is rehabilitating an ACL surgery.

“But we like players that win. We like players that can play. I don’t care what school they are or what their background is, or what position. Winners. That’s what we’re trying to do, is win. If we end up getting that done, that’s another player that was on a very good team.”

Report: Warriors agree to two-way NBA contract with Oregon F Boucher

Report: Warriors agree to two-way NBA contract with Oregon F Boucher

The Warriors bought Oregon's Jordan Bell in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft. And, they reportedly agreed with another Duck.

Golden State is signing Oregon forward Chris Boucher to a two-way NBA contract after the senior went undrafted, according to Shams Charina of The Vertical.

Boucher, at 6-foot-10 and 200 pounds, averaged 11.8 points and 6.1 rebounds in 31 games for Oregon this past season. He also averaged 2.5 blocks per game and shot 35 percent from beyond the arc. 

Boucher suffered a torn ACL in the Pac-12 semifinals against Cal. 

NBA rosters will grow to 17 players with two-way contracts between the G-League and players will make a guarantee of at least $75,000. Players who sign two-ways contracts can make up to $275,000 depending on how long they are on an NBA roster.