Second-round selection Stephane Lasme, the 25-year-old shot-blocker from the African nation of Gabon, signed a two-year deal with the Warriors on Tuesday worth a potential $1.14 million.
The Warriors drafted Lasme 46th overall in June's draft after his record-setting, four-year stop at the University of Massachusetts. He will receive the league minimum of $427,163 for the 2007-08 season and $711,517 the following year, although the second season is a team option.
Unlike a first-round pick, whose rookie deal is set down in the league's collective bargaining agreement, Lasme had no guarantees. After he suffered a sprained right knee in his first game with the Warriors' Vegas Summer League entry in July -- costing Lasme a chance to show what he can do defensively -- it was a bit worrying for him to see Golden State's precious roster spots get filled by players such as Kelenna Azubuike and Matt Barnes.
"I was thinking about it a little bit, but I wasn't too nervous," Lasme said of the Warriors' overstuffed roster. "I was nervous when I got hurt in summer league. But I figured if they liked me, they'd keep me."
The buyout of center Adonal Foyle earlier this month made a roster spot available to Lasme, who won Atlantic 10 Player of the Year honors last season after averaging 13.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.1 blocks per game and left UMass as the Minutemen's career blocks leader.
"It just took a lot of pressure off my shoulders," Lasme said. "Now I can concentrate on basketball."
Lasme said his knee was "perfect" after rehabbing while staying at his home in Connecticut. He plans to stay in the Bay Area from now until training camp starts Oct. 2 in Hawaii, working with other Warriors at the team's Oakland headquarters.
"I've talked a couple of times to Coach (Don) Nelson," Lasme said. "And he's explained to me what he expected: just to rebound and run the floor. And that's what I do best."
Contact Geoff Lepper at firstname.lastname@example.org.