The Golden State Warriors and rookie big man Ognjen Kuzmic signed a two-year deal during the team's media day on Friday, Marcus Thompson II of the San Jose Mercury News reports. He will receive the league minimum, about $1.3 million, over the course of the deal.
The 23-year-old spent the 2012-13 season playing in Spain's Liga ACB with Joventut Badalona. In 29 games with the team, he averaged 6.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 18.2 minutes a night. According to Draft Express, his defense stands out on the court:
Defensively, Kuzmic is an impact player in the LEB Gold, blocking 3 shots (#1 in the league) and pulling down 8.1 defensive rebounds per-40 minutes, reminding somewhat of Fran Vazquez with his approach on this end of the floor. Coupling his size and length with his consistent energy level, Kuzmic is a threat to block shots on the ball and on the weakside, showing especially good anticipation and timing on occasion en route to leading the league in blocked shots. His instincts as a shot-blocker appears to be his most promising trait, and is certainly a skill that is in demand amongst NBA teams.
Despite being slowed by a sprained ankle during the offseason, Kuzmic's spot on the Warriors' roster is guaranteed, as GM Bob Myers said earlier this week. He'll presumably be slotted behind Andrew Bogut, Jermaine O'Neal and Festus Ezeli on the team's depth chart.