Jason Quick, CSN’s Trail Blazers Insider, rejected the possibility of Portland picking up Festus Ezeli‘s team option for 2017/18, saying there’s “no chance” of it happening (Twitter link). Should Neil Oshey decline Ezeli’s options, he’ll join the 2017 free agent class as a bounce-back candidate.
Ezeli didn’t play a game this year, suffering a left knee injury before undergoing season-ending surgery. The 27-year-old Ezeli made $7.4MM in 2016/17, and would be owed $7.733MM if Portland picked up his option for next season. Quick discussed other big men Portland could pursue over the offseason, suggesting the team look for a trade partner or hope for a return to form from Ed Davis, who will be entering the final season of his three-year deal (Twitter link).
Prior to his season-ending surgery, Ezeli spoke to reporters in December about the frustration of a lost season.
“I’m kind of past the point of frustration because at first it was — I’m not going to lie, it definitely was,” he said. “I’m at the point where I’m just trying to find a solution. The sooner I can, the sooner I can get on the court and help my team win games. I just can’t wait to get on the court, that’s my biggest thing. I miss basketball, I haven’t played basketball in a while, so that’s my biggest thing right now.”