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Warriors, Festus Ezeli fail to reach contract extension

The Warriors big man will become a restricted free agent next summer.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors and big man Festus Ezeli will not come to an agreement on a new contract extension in advance of the Nov. 2 deadline, according to Ethan Strauss of ESPN. Like teammate Harrison Barnes, Ezeli will become a restricted free agent next summer and can take offer sheets from other teams.

Ezeli, 26, has played limited minutes with the Warriors after being picked No. 30 overall in the 2012 NBA Draft. He started 41 of 78 games in his rookie season, although he logged just 14.4 minutes per game. He missed the entire 2013-14 season because of a knee injury, and he only appeared in 46 regular-season contests last year for Golden State.

However, Ezeli displayed flashes of his potential in his limited minutes last year, averaging 4.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in just 11 minutes per game. He made a nice impact off the bench in the postseason, especially against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals. In the clinching Game 5, he had 12 points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes of action.

With Ezeli showing promise and the injury-prone Andrew Bogut turning 31 later in November, the 6'11 big man out of Nigeria looks like he could be the Warriors' center of the future. But considering the small sample size of his performance, Golden State understandably wants to see more from Ezeli this season before handing him a lucrative extension.