Is Willie Cauley-Stein still an option at center for Sacramento Kings?

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NBC Sports BayArea

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#1


Nearly two months into the offseason and the Sacramento Kings have a looming decision regarding one of their starters. Willie Cauley-Stein is set to become a free agent for the first time and Vlade Divac has a few options when it comes to the 7-footer out of the University of Kentucky. During a sit down with the Sacramento Bee earlier this week, Divac went on the record regarding the future of Cauley-Stein with the Kings.

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#2
Willie has had several years to show his skills in SacTown. I think he is a journeyman level center with talent, that lacks motivation at times and is reluctant to mix it up with other players. I don't think he is the guy to help get the Kings to the playoffs. I would like to see them make a change.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
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#3
Willie has had several years to show his skills in SacTown. I think he is a journeyman level center with talent, that lacks motivation at times and is reluctant to mix it up with other players. I don't think he is the guy to help get the Kings to the playoffs. I would like to see them make a change.
That pretty much sums it all up. I think Vlade has just about had it with the WCS experiment. He wants the guys who will put it all out there on the court every single night. The sad thing is I truly believe WCS could be all those things. The only thing he's missing is the hunger.
 
#4
I've supported WCS but im exhausted with his inconsistency. He has no dog in him either like others have stated above. I would hand Bagley the 5 spot and press forward.
 
#5
If WCS every truly "gets it" he could absolutely be an impact 5 in this league. But we've been saying that for years...

I still like him on the squad if the price is right. If he doesn't get better, he'd still be an excellent 3rd big off of the bench. Short term, I don't really like him as a starter, nor do I have any idea who I'd replace him with.

I have a feeling that what Vlade decides to do with WCS is going to be the first domino to the King's off-season.
 
#6
It’s obvious he has skills and it’s widely known we are shopping for another center.

I really don’t think his attitude would improve coming off the bench.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#7
I have mixed emotions when it comes to Willie. I've been a big supporter, and I do think his flaws have been exaggerated and his pluses diminished. If he were the starting center on another team, I'm sure there would folks on this forum that would want to trade for him. Can we accept that Willie is a legit NBA player. He deserves to play in this league. And if so, if what we've seen so far is what he is going forward, is that enough for the team going forward?

To my mind, no it isn't, which means if we resign him as our starting center, we would be betting that he makes significant improvement in his game. That's a tough bet to take for a team that's ready to take a giant step forward. Willie made 4.6 mil last season and his option is for 6.2 mil. If we offer that option, and he were to take it, that would be a good scenario for both us and him. We would have him for another year at a reasonable rate, and he would become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.

If that would occur, we could still pursue another center, like a Vucevic or a Dedmon, and Willie could be the backup. However, that's probably wishful thinking on my part and not likely to happen. The problem is, the Kings have four years invested in Willie, and I'm sure they would love to get something in return. That could happen during the free agency period, but the Kings can't afford to tie up 14 mil in a cap hold for very long if they intend to be players in the free agency market.

I guess I could live with the current Willie as our starter with the hope he takes another step forward, if the price was right. But that's probably wishful thinking as well...
 
#8
I've supported WCS but im exhausted with his inconsistency. He has no dog in him either like others have stated above. I would hand Bagley the 5 spot and press forward.
Bjelica. Just needs to have his minutes limited. I think we can go forward with the right kind of backup big playing behind Bjelica and Bagley.
 

kingsboi

Hall of Famer
#9
he very much is an option still for the Kings, despite me and many other posters on here wanting to go in another direction. Kings' top priority for the center position would be Vucevic I'd imagine and he may just re-sign with Orlando and the Kings would have to then give Willie a take it or leave it offer and not budge on their number with some type of incentives included.
 
#10
It looked like Willie was finally making a big jump last season, but in the end, his numbers were still sub-par. A little improvement here, some lost ground there, and so on. He is who he is, and that’s not good enough for big minutes on a playoff team.
The cap hold is reason enough to cut him loose.
 
#12
I’ve thought there is a good chance Willie would be back with the Kings. There is a lot about Willie that gets on my nerves but he still has ability and potential that can be of great value and I don’t think he’s entered his prime yet. Unless the price is obscene I’d like the Kings to keep him
 
#13
Potential? Everyone says he has potential?
He HAD potential. He got worse at shooting,especially his free throws. His attitude got worse. I watched him several times walk off the court before the half or game were even over. I saw countless bigs get career high 20+ rebound games against us.

But no, he's getting better every year. If that's getting better I don't want to know what worse looks like. Potential? Psssh his rebounds have have increased due to the number of shots/pace of the team not because he is rebunding any better. He had games with 0 rebounds!

Vlade put it best. He's too inconsistent. That's a nice way of saying he should have put it all (or at least mostly) together by now.

I was enamored with drafting willie. He had amazing speed, full-court length chase down blocks against guards (no less), but his inability to know his place in an offense, his worsening shot, free throw percentage and attitude made it the reason why (another) center is top priority.
 
#14
To my mind, no it isn't, which means if we resign him as our starting center, we would be betting that he makes significant improvement in his game. That's a tough bet to take for a team that's ready to take a giant step forward. Willie made 4.6 mil last season and his option is for 6.2 mil. If we offer that option, and he were to take it, that would be a good scenario for both us and him. We would have him for another year at a reasonable rate, and he would become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.
I think I can accept retaining his service if the asking price is within 6 mil to 10 mil, as a back up center while we pursuit a legit center via free agency. But I wouldn't be too sad if we don't, as this year is pretty much the major year for us to drop serious money on a legitimate NBA star (in the center position or not) and make a serious attempt to get into Playoffs and on before we have to start renewing our young kids' rookie contract.
 
#15
I think I can accept retaining his service if the asking price is within 6 mil to 10 mil, as a back up center while we pursuit a legit center via free agency. But I wouldn't be too sad if we don't, as this year is pretty much the major year for us to drop serious money on a legitimate NBA star (in the center position or not) and make a serious attempt to get into Playoffs and on before we have to start renewing our young kids' rookie contract.
I'm okay bringing him back at around $4-6 mil. There's a thread on RealGM predicting his next contract though: https://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1849083
 
#16
Are Willie's PER 36 #'s not that of a consistent starting NBA C?


How much more consistent, other than consistently flopping and getting obliterated by Shaq, was Vlade than Willie?? I'd love to see a comprehensive breakdown.
 
#17
I'm okay bringing him back at around $4-6 mil. There's a thread on RealGM predicting his next contract though: https://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1849083
4 to 6 mil? DO you think that really reflects in any way his intrinsic market value?

Seems to me like you're projecting your world view upon willie cauley stein, someone with cleansed doors of perception with an objective veiw concludes that guy is worth 4-6 mil?

do you think the Kings place 0-value into the assets they've sunk into willie already?

have you really factored in anything like that before you spit out that number..



DID YOU FACTOR IN THAT HE'S OUR FRANCHISE PG's FAVORITE TARGET TO PASS TO? when you extrapolated a rookie scale, or vet min type of $ for an ultra athletic, 25 year old true-7-footer??
 
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#19
4 to 6 mil? DO you think that really reflects in any way his intrinsic market value?

Seems to me like you're projecting your world view upon willie cauley stein, someone with cleansed doors of perception with an objective veiw concludes that guy is worth 4-6 mil?

do you think the Kings place 0-value into the assets they've sunk into willie already?

have you really factored in anything like that before you spit out that number..



DID YOU FACTOR IN THAT HE'S OUR FRANCHISE PG's FAVORITE TARGET TO PASS TO? when you extrapolated a rookie scale, or vet min type of $ for an ultra athletic, 25 year old true-7-footer??
The way the market values him and the way I value him can be two different things. Cauley-Stein is not a complementary piece to Bagley. His value to me is lower due to that reason. I’m sure his value to another team would be higher because he may be a better fit elsewhere.

We’re not maximizing the potential of our front court if we expect Bagley and Cauley-Stein to be our starters. So do we have Bagley come off the bench? Nope, it would be Cauley-Stein. Do I want to pay a backup C more than $4-6 mil especially knowing that Bagley (in a year or two) will also be able to slide over at C for stretches? No, I don’t.

Emotional statements like “the kings have invested a lot in him” really are worthless from my point of view. Some people invest a lot in a stock only to have it not work out as expected. Doesn’t mean they have to keep losing their money.

I would rather let Cauley-Stein walk vs. making him a bad contract.
 
#20
Willie's main limitations are mental. Lack of focus, fear around the basket, lack of motivation, etc.
He cannot seem to overcome them.
It would be great for the team and probably for Willie to make a change.
I don't see Bagley matching up well with about half the 5s he would need to play against.
The Kings need a new guy with size, defense and rebounding.
 
#21
If Willie blocked shots like he did as a rookie (twice his current rate), or added a 3 point shot (unlikely), I could live with the incosistencies of a legit starting center. But until then, he is a gamble on a team with two young and talented bigs.

Make the qualifying offer and let him go if he gets a better deal.
 
#22
Potential? Everyone says he has potential?
He HAD potential. He got worse at shooting,especially his free throws. His attitude got worse. I watched him several times walk off the court before the half or game were even over. I saw countless bigs get career high 20+ rebound games against us.

But no, he's getting better every year. If that's getting better I don't want to know what worse looks like. Potential? Psssh his rebounds have have increased due to the number of shots/pace of the team not because he is rebunding any better. He had games with 0 rebounds!

Vlade put it best. He's too inconsistent. That's a nice way of saying he should have put it all (or at least mostly) together by now.

I was enamored with drafting willie. He had amazing speed, full-court length chase down blocks against guards (no less), but his inability to know his place in an offense, his worsening shot, free throw percentage and attitude made it the reason why (another) center is top priority.
Ironically, i think the kings NOT making an offer to him is the thingvthat will finally light his fire. Once he sees the current version of himself on the court is not desired by the rest of the league and the pursuit of himself is low, i think that will finally motivate him. Unfortunately, it wont be for us
 
#23
Willie's main limitations are mental. Lack of focus, fear around the basket, lack of motivation, etc.
He cannot seem to overcome them.
It would be great for the team and probably for Willie to make a change.
I don't see Bagley matching up well with about half the 5s he would need to play against.
The Kings need a new guy with size, defense and rebounding.
Prepare your box of large erasers to apply to that list of bigs once the season gets closer and Bagley looks like he has gained 25 lbs or more of muscle.
 
#25
25 pounds of muscle gained in a single offseason is not very realistic and if that’s what you are expecting you’ll be sorely disappointed. 10-15 would be great but to expect 25 plus is extreme.

Fox looked fantastic at the start of the season but he only gained 7lbs of muscle and it made a huge difference both in looks and in performance. You’re asking Bagley to put on nearly 4 times that. Not happening.
 
#26
Well it won’t be much longer to find out where he stands in the league and his value.

More than likely we give him a qualifying offer and by what July 13th we most likely will have our answers.

If someone gives him 15 million or more I will be happy for him as long as it wasn’t the Kings.
 
#28
Ironically, i think the kings NOT making an offer to him is the thingvthat will finally light his fire. Once he sees the current version of himself on the court is not desired by the rest of the league and the pursuit of himself is low, i think that will finally motivate him. Unfortunately, it wont be for us
Long term can a leopard change his spots though? WCS may play really well initially for whatever team that signs him but I wouldn't expect that to last. I think in general people are what they are when it comes to personality traits. Willie is an aloof guy that lacks a consistent motor and I don't think that is ever going to change (at least not over the long haul of an entire season).

He does do a lot of things that help this team and I think he does have value but it's just frustrating knowing that he could/should be doing more. It doesn't help that he runs his mouth too much with an overinflated view of himself.
 

Entity

Hall of Famer
#29
Yeah it’s very frustrating seeing him play all out one game then two days later playing like he would rather be in a hot tub somewhere. I’d like somebody to ask him why he doesn’t show the same effort each night
 
#30
I didn't think WCS was all that inconsistent this last year. He upped his rebounding rate by 2 rebounds per36 and was more efficient scoring wise.

What bugs me the most is the dude is averaging .8 blocks per36. I don't even know how that's possible for a guy with his build. He averaged 1.7 blocks per36 in his rookie year and even then I thought this dude should be averaging about twice that.

His offensive struggles are another thing that bugs me. His inability to finish strong at the rim and his terrible lay up percentage. Someone posted a chart that showed a WCS layup is one of the worst shot attempts in basketball. That's pathetic. The rest of his offensive struggles, I place purely on Joerger for making him such an integral part of the offense. Dude should have been running pick and rolls and catching lobs from the beginning. Not running high post sets, taking mid range jump shots and going 1 on 1. That's not his game so I don't really blame him too much for struggling with that but I do blame him for not protecting the rim. Everyone uses the excuse that he's out on the perimeter all the time and while he's good at defending the perimeter, there's a whole bunch of other centers that have to switch as well and they still seem to block more shots than WCS does. That's the one lazy part of his game that makes me want to go with another player in his place.