Willie Cauley-Stein, Sacramento Kings

  • Position: Center
  • Age: 23 (08/18/1993)
  • Height, Weight: 7’0″ , 240 lbs.
  • Career Averages: 18.9 minutes, 6.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 0.8 blocks, 0.6 steals
  • Career Slash Line: .562/.000/.617

Willie Cauley-Stein was a strange pick by the Kings two seasons ago. He didn’t seem like a good fit with DeMarcus Cousins and Kosta Koufos.

It hasn’t worked. It’s not even half-way through his second season, and already the trade rumors are buzzing. It makes sense.

In 2015-16, Cauley-Stein and Cousins had a net rating of -2.9 per 100 possessions in their 596 shared minutes (via NBA.com). The experiment of starting them at power forward and center respectively was a colossal failure.

Both players are true centers.

Under new head coach Dave Joerger, Cauley-Stein has seen his playing time significantly diminish. Through 26 games he’s struggling to crack the rotation, averaging just 12.5 minutes per game and logging 20-plus only minutes three times.

Cauley-Stein is a cheaper version of his former college teammate at Kentucky, the aforementioned Nerlens Noel. Not because he isn’t a skilled player, but because he’ll require a much smaller haul than the Sixers star.

Cauley-Stein has shown the ability to do a lot of the things that Noel can do, just not on a consistent basis. With a decrease in playing time this season (under a defensive-minded coach) his stock has taken a hit.

The Knicks should take advantage of a potential bargain here.

Check out this. Then try and say Cauley-Stein doesn’t have tremendous potential.

I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for EliteSportsNY.com. I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: chip.murphy@elitesportsny.com Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.