Report: Warriors renouncing Festus Ezeli to clear room for Kevin Durant

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The Warriors need enough cap space to sign Kevin Durantthis summer and next.

That likely means trading Andrew Bogut. Clearing his salary and renouncing all its free agents would give Golden State room for Durant’s max contract.

But the Warriors needn’t necessarily drop all their own free agents. They could trade Shaun Livingston instead of renouncing Festus Ezeli, whose low cap hold and Bird Rights give Golden State plenty of flexibility. Ezeli could then step in for Bogut as starting center.

But the Warriors aren’t going that route.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Does this mean Golden State will trade Andre Iguodala instead of Bogut? I doubt it. Shedding Iguodala’s salary won’t quite create max cap room for Durant like dropping Bogut’s would, so Kevon Looney or Damian Jones would also have to be moved. Plus, Iguodala just seems to be on more favorable terms with the team than Bogut.

So, the Warriors will need to find a starting center on the cheap, the $2,898,000 room exception their primary weapon.

There are more decent centers on the market than teams that need one, so perhaps someone takes a one-year deal to boost his value and re-enter the market in 2017. Anyone would look good with Durant, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson playing behind him.

Zaza Pachulia? Nene? Roy Hibbert?

That might be aiming too high, but here’s an even bigger name available: Pau Gasol. He’d have to take a big discount, but the Warriors reportedly like him, and he’d start for the championship favorite. That might appeal to him more than a big payday.

Golden State will probably settle for a lesser player, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is already lined up. Otherwise, why commit to Livingston over Ezeli so quickly? A starting center is more important than a backup point guard.