The most underrated player on the Warriors has been vastly overlooked.
He showed in the Playoffs that he was not just a physical presence, but a solid, versatile center that could hold his own against any opposing big. Festus Ezeli will break out in 2015-2016.
After a terrible knee injury kept him sidelined for 2013-14, Ezeli really worked hard on his game and his tough interior play got him back in the rotation and by the end he was competing with Andrew Bogut for minutes.
Ezeli simply doesn't have the playing time to really show his full potential and his regular season stats of 4.4 points and 3.4 rebounds really don't impress many. But his per 36 stats, 14.4 points and 11.1 rebounds, offer a glimpse of what he can accomplish if given the chance. During the Playoffs, Ezeli was able to keep up with bigs like Marc Gasol and Dwight Howard and limit both their production and their efficiency which really speaks to his defensive ability. On offense as well, he's quite adept with the pick and roll, and he had a variety of post moves on display throughout the course of last season,
While this may be a bold prediction, I believe that this year Festus Ezeli will eclipse Hassan Whiteside in terms of production and consistency. While that may be a little bit too optimistic for someone who has never averaged above five points, Ezeli has gotten acclimated to the professional game and has shown the ability to be a star in this league for years to come. Ezeli has both the right mindset and work ethic as well as the physicality to dominate for year to come.
A hard worker, Ezeli has really impressed scouts over and the Warriors must reach a deal to re-sign him. His potential is endless and skilled bigs are exiguous in today's small ball revolution. Expect Ezeli to really breakout next year and look out for him as a fantasy steal.