Golden State Warriors big-man Zaza Pachulia has agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. For Golden State, the 33-year old post player established himself as ‘the other guy’ averaging 6.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists while playing a meager 18.1 minutes per game. In Pachulia’s time with the Dubs, he shot a career best 53.4-percent from the floor.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 7, 2017
The 33-year-old focused his role as an energy source for the Warriors quick and nimble shooters, with a great passion. He provided a reliable big-man in the line-up of shooters and performed well. He has been the catalyst of much controversy, especially in Game 1 of the WCF after he put a hard close-out on San Antonio Spurs superstar small forward Kawhi Leonard, causing him to roll his ankle and miss the rest of the series, in which the Warriors took care of business with a clean sweep.
Critics, like Gregg Popovich, have been on Pachulia’s back after Game 1’s incident. In a press conference Popovich said, “Zaza stepping under Kawhi was dirty,” and, when asked about what he thought Pachulia’s intent was he said, “Who gives a damn what his intent was.” Even after all this, Pachulia did not let this distract him from his goal of being an NBA champion. He played well in the Finals and helped his team earn their second NBA Championship in three years.
Pachulia’s contract is a good move for Golden State, solidifying the championship caliber team and keeping them for the foreseeable future. If Pachulia plays well this season, then next year he may be looking at a larger contract, since the Warriors are salary-cap strapped this year and can only pay him so much. Though he may never be a big-contract player for Golden State, it’s the small things he does on the court that make him a valuable Warriors asset.