Ezeli’s rookie contract runs up next summer, when he could become a restricted free agent. If he remains healthy, Ezeli could land a big payday — either replacing Bogut as the Warriors’ starting center or signing elsewhere. For now, he’s focused on rebooting the Warriors’ title hopes and still keeping a close eye on Vanderbilt’s upcoming season. “I love coming back to Vanderbilt, especially in this light (as a champion),” Ezeli said. “Part of what drives me is that (Commodores) fan base. Those fans saw me grow up at Vanderbilt as a little freshman kid to an NBA player. So it’s still home to me.”
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Ian Clark knows he’s facing long odds, but that’s nothing new to him. One of five training-camp invites among a six-player competition for the final roster spot with the Warriors, Clark has made a career out of beating the odds. “For me, it’s just about playing with confidence, knowing what I can do and what I can’t do, and improving the things I need to do better,” Clark said before Monday’s exhibition opener in San Jose. He went scoreless in eight minutes, missing both of his shot attempts, one from beyond the arc.
Walton said he has been too busy coaching to call his former coaches for advice. “As a staff, we feel confident that we can make this thing keep going,” Walton said. “It’s been a little crazy, but it’s been a good experience. It’s been fun. “We’re leaving Steve alone. We don’t need to bother him with all the little things that are going on day-to-day. We’re hoping and waiting for him to get healthy.”