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After Flirting With Festus Ezeli, Trail Blazers Turn To Zaza Pachulia

The Blazers will no longer pursue Festus Ezeli and will now look to add Zaza Pachulia at center.

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (1:50 PM): The Charlotte Hornets are also interested in Zaza Pachulia, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski:

The Portland Trail Blazers' brief, reported tryst with Golden State Warriors free agent center Festus Ezeli has ended, according to multiple reports. The Blazers will now turn their attention to Dallas Mavericks free agent center Zaza Pachulia, according to Jason Quick of CSNNW.

Ezeli's price appeared to be too steep for the Blazers, who refused to renounce their restricted free agents to create space for him, according to Quick.

Pachulia, 32, had a career-best total-rebound rate of 19.7 percent last season with the Mavericks in 76 games, 69 of which he started. He was in and out of the rotation at times as Salah Mejri emerged and Rick Carlisle tinkered with the line-up. But Pachulia started the final seven games of the season and four of the five games in their first round series against Oklahoma City, including their only victory.

His rim protection numbers-- including a 52.4 percent allowed field goal percentage-- are slightly better than Portland's other centers.

Offensively, he doesn't project to improve them much outside of his screen-setting. He shot 46 percent from the field and 58 percent from 0-to-3 feet, according to Basketball-Reference.

However, Pachulia has flashed above-average playmaking in years past. Last year was the first time in four seasons he posted an assist-percentage lower than 10 (9.7). He posted assist-percentage's above 16 during his two seasons in Milwaukee, which is on par with what Mason Plumlee did last season for the Blazers.