Festus Ezeli, C, Golden State Warriors
Festus Ezeli is another valuable Warriors restricted free agent. Unlike Barnes though, the Warriors will try and retain Ezeli. To pry him away, the Knicks or any other team would need to dramatically overpay.
Ezeli is a very valuable role role player. Nylon Calculus puts his elite rim protection stats on display. During 2015-16 was first in position adjusted points per 36 minutes, third in shot contest percentage, and thirteenth in opponent’s field goal percentage versus contest.
Since entering the league Ezeli has been a beast on the boards, leading the Warriors in offensive rebounding percentage in each of the last two seasons.
Unfortunately his offensive game is extremely limited. According to Basketball-Reference, the average distance of an Ezeli field goal attempt during his three year career is just 3.9 feet.
He was 64.8 percent on shots that were less than five feet but just 28.5 percent on shots outside of that range in 2015-16 (via NBA.com).
Ezeli has missed 72 regular season games over the last two seasons and sat out the entire 2013-14 season due to knee surgery. That will scare off some teams, maybe even the Warriors out of giving him a long term deal.
The Knicks were 16th in opponent’s points in the paint during 2015-16. A rim protector like Ezeli could help.