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July 9, 2012Former Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli and the Golden State Warriors came to terms on a rookie contract on Friday, the franchise announced. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, per team policy, but sources believe the length of the contract will be three years.
The 30th pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft, Ezeli is expected to compete for a spot in the Warriors rotation at center this summer with Golden State's pro summer league squad.
The Warriors also agreed to terms with No.7 overall pick Harrison Barnes earlier last week. Both will head to Las Vegas this week along with second round pick, Draymond Green and second year Warriors Klay Thompson, Jeremy Tyler and Charles Jenkins. The Warriors first game will be on Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers summer league squad at 6 pm CT.
The 6-foot-11, 255-pound prospect averaged 12 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks over his last two years in Nashville. A second team All-SEC selection as a junior, Ezeli finished his career as the school's leader in blocked shots and was considered by many to be one of the college games top defensive centers.
The Nigerian also finished as one of the program's best short-range scorers, converting on 56.2-percent of his attempts during his career.
He becomes the first of Vanderbilt's three draft picks to come to terms with their NBA team, but the other two are expected to sign in the coming weeks.
Fellow first round pick John Jenkins is said to be close to finalizing terms with the Atlanta Hawks. The 23rd overall pick, Jenkins has seen his new franchise make a couple of moves since his selection, including the mega trade of All-Star Joe Johnson to the New Jersey Nets. Jenkins is also expected to play in Las Vegas later this week, as the Hawks will open Friday's action against the Washington Wizards at 12 pm CT.
Second round pick, and 31st overall selection, Jeffery Taylor has yet to sign with the Charlotte Bobcats but that could change by the end of the week. The Bobcats recently came to terms with the No.2 overall pick, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the two will play for the Bobcats in Las Vegas as well this week. The first game against Sacramento is slated for Friday at 8 pm CT.
The 2012 NBA Draft marked the first time that three Vanderbilt players have been selected within the events first 31 picks. Jenkins and Ezeli were the first Commodores to be taken in the first round of the draft since 1988.