NBA Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers Signing Festus Ezeli From Golden State Warriors

NBA rumors are swirling around Festus Ezeli. The Golden State Warriors big man becomes a restricted free agent this summer. Since there is a dearth of quality big men available in basketball, Ezeli will surely generate some interest from a couple of teams. According to the Sporting News, one of the teams that will come calling is the Los Angeles Lakers. The team needs someone to team up with Julius Randle in the front court.

Julius Randle is not a prototype power forward, so the Los Angeles Lakers need a certain type of player to handle the center position. Despite being 6’9″, 250 pounds, the former Kentucky Wildcats star likes to play away from the basket. The Lakers also intend to utilize him much like they did with Lamar Odom, he’ll be spending even more time on the perimeter. Someone like Festus Ezeli can handle all of the dirty work on the inside.

Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton Luke Walton [Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]Depending on how the ping pong balls roll, the Los Angeles Lakers might be able to acquire a small forward to pair with Julius Randle and Festus Ezeli. If the team acquires the first overall pick in the NBA Draft, then they more than likely will go after Ben Simmons. The LSU Tigers star is said to be the best available player coming out of college. Simmons has been compared to LeBron James, so Ezeli could benefit greatly by playing with two forwards who can create plays for him.

Signing with the Los Angeles Lakers would mean that Festus Ezeli can continue to play with two dynamic guards. With the Golden State Warriors, he’s playing with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Many consider that duo to be the best back court in the NBA. Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell aren’t nearly as good as Curry and Thompson. However, they’re young and talented.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle Julius Randle [Photo by Sean M Haffey/Getty Images]With Festus Ezeli, the Los Angeles Lakers would have a pretty nice front court rotation. Julius Randle and Ezeli would be the starters. New head coach Luke Walton can substitute potential sixth man Larry Nance Jr. for Ezeli. Randle would then move to center. It’s a small ball line up that can keep the Lakers competitive while Ezeli gets his rest. Festus can then be brought back into the starting line so that Randle can get his rest.

While he’ll have other options in the NBA, Festus Ezeli could be drawn to the Los Angeles Lakers for a couple of reasons. For starters, he would still get to live in California. The night life scene in Hollywood is quite appealing to many professional athletes. The chance to reunite with Luke Walton. While working as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, Walton and Ezeli got to know one another quite well.

Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut Andrew Bogut [Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]There are also those in the NBA that believe that Festus Ezeli might prefer to stay with the Golden State Warriors. Winning championships is something that most players want to do. The team is built to be competitive for years to come. The belief is that Andrew Bogut is going to sign with another team in the National Basketball Association when his contract expires. That should open up the door for Ezeli to take over as the starting center for the Warriors.

Regardless of what he chooses to do, Festus Ezeli has a bright future coming. He’s in the prime of his athletic career as a 27-year-old. Ezeli is wanted by teams in the NBA. He’s also about to make what some believe is $50 million over the next three years. Festus has never seen that type of money before in his life.

[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]