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Zaza Pachulia says he's returning to Golden State Warriors

Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Center Zaza Pachulia has reportedly agreed to a $3.5 million, one-year contract to stay with the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

Pachulia announced the move on Twitter.

Golden State’s starter in a three-center rotation last season, the 33-year-old Pachulia averaged 5.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 14.1 minutes during the postseason, and scored in double digits four times.

Pachulia played for $2.9 million last season, willing to take a lower salary to be a part of a team that would chase a championship – and he wound up with his first ring after 14 NBA seasons.

Booed early on by the home crowd at Oracle Arena as he found his way with a new team, Pachulia eventually got comfortable with the Warriors and elevated his play once he stopped worrying about everything so much.

A native of the Republic of Georgia, Pachulia fit right in with the Warriors, his two young sons regulars at practice shooting around after Golden State’s stars were done for the day. Pachulia notched four double-doubles and scored in double figures 14 times during the regular season as the Warriors grabbed the league’s top seed for a third straight year. He also had 10 or more rebounds 10 times.

Pachulia joins several familiar faces who have committed to the team.

Most notably, two-time MVP Stephen Curry is receiving a record $201 million, five-year contract, while Finals MVP Kevin Durant reached agreement on a deal for approximately $53 million over two years. Fresh off his first career championship, KD is expected to decline the second year on his contract in order to sign a max contract next summer.

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