The Trail Blazers’ foray into the free agent market isn’t over: Golden State big man Festus Ezeli flew to Portland on Wednesday to meet with the Blazers.
“They have something good brewing here,’’ Ezeli told CSN at the Portland International Airport.
Wearing a red-and-black flannel shirt, Ezeli said he had a meeting with the Blazers on Wednesday night. He was unsure how long he would be in Portland.
“I bought a one-way ticket,’’ Ezeli said “We are going to figure it out.’’
Ezeli, 26, is coming off a season when he missed six weeks to have his left knee cleaned out. Three years ago, he missed the 2013-2014 season after having a procedure on his right knee to reinforce the MCL and PCL ligaments.
“My knees feel great. Feel great,’’ Ezeli said. “It sucks that I had surgery, but the surgery was to fix.’’
The 6-foot-11, 255-pound native of Nigeria averaged 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds in 46 games (13 starts) for Golden State last season. He shot 54.8 percent from the field and 53 percent from the free throw line.
Ezeli was originally a restricted free agent, meaning Golden State would have the opportunity to match any offer, but the Warriors rescinded their qualifying offer to make room to sign free agent Kevin Durant.
Ezeli said his agent, Bill Duffy, has been in talks with other teams interested in his services, but Portland is the first team he has met in person.
“They are a great team with young talent,’’ Ezeli said. “They are good guys. I know a couple of them. I like the way they play. They are a tough team.’’
Ezeli got a first-hand look at the Blazers during the Western Conference semifinals, when Golden State beat the Blazers in five games. Ezeli was largely credited as the game-changer in a come-from-behind Game 2 victory by Golden State.
“I gained a lot of respect for them in the playoffs,’’ Ezeli said. “Just the way they play. The grit they play with. They play with a lot of heart.’’