Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group reported earlier today that Golden State Warriors center Festus Ezeli has been cleared to return to action and will see his first time on the court with a Warriors uniform in over a year in this year's Las Vegas Summer League.
The 6-foot-11 Ezeli would join a summer league team that's expected to include Ognjen Kuzmic and Nemanja Nedovic. He said he has played pickup games in the Sacramento area since the end of the season and noticed an improvement in one particular area since he was sidelined throughout the playoffs.
"Explosiveness," he said. "I'm getting it back. I'm actually trying to add more to it."
Explosive or not, just having another post in the rotation might offer the type of low-key "internal improvement" that will help the Warriors next season.
It might be easy to forget or ignore Ezeli's value to the Golden State Warriors statistically, but it's also hard to deny that he was missed when you consider that centers Andrew Bogut and Jermaine O'Neal missed a combined 53 games (15 and 38, respectively) this season. There were times this season - including the first round playoff series against the L.A. Clippers - when it seemed that just having one extra big body in the rotation might have made a difference.
It's impossible to know what to expect right now, but it will be good to have him back even if he is just the same low-usage, low-efficiency center who did little more than rebound and take up space for an average of 10-15 minutes per game.
Also, it's just one more reason to get excited about summer league!