Willie Cauley-Stein
Willie Cauley-Stein
25-Year-Old CenterC
Sacramento Kings
2018 Fantasy Outlook
During his third year in the league, Cauley-Stein saw the most run of his career. He started 58 of his 73 appearances, garnering 28.0 minutes per contest. As a result, he set career highs nearly across the board by averaging 12.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals while shooting 50.2 percent from the field and 61.9 percent from the charity stripe. He flashed a diverse skillset, able to put up significant stats in every category. Cauley-Stein was able to rack up 11 20-point games, 13 games with double-digit rebounds, six games with at least five assists, seven games with at least three steals, and four games with at least three swats. He should be in line for a similar workload this year, though the added presence of Marvin Bagley, who could play some center, could limited Cauley-Stein’s upside. Still, as a starting center who is expected to see minutes in the mid-to-upper 20s, Cauley-Stein is worth a look in the later rounds of most Fantasy drafts. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $6.95 million contract with the Kings in July of 2015. Kings exercised $3.7 million team option for 2017-18 in October of 2016. Kings exercised $4.7 million team option for 2018-19 in October of 2017.
Favorable stat line in loss
CSacramento Kings
March 15, 2019
Cauley-Stein totaled 13 points (6-7 FG, 1-2 FT), seven rebounds and two assists over 33 minutes in the Kings' loss to the 76ers on Friday.
ANALYSIS
Cauley-Stein was at it again on Friday, providing his usual allotment of points, rebounds and assists. Although he's been rather unspectacular with limited upside, Cauley-Stein is a consistent fantasy option with a high floor. His night-to-night performances rarely deviate far from his season averages.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
Cauley-Stein emerged last season after the Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins, creating a vacuum at the center slot. After the All-Star break, Cauley-Stein garnered 30.9 minutes, posting 12.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 50.4 percent from the field. While he isn’t a great scorer, the 7-foot 24-year-old has demonstrated solid upside as a rebounder and defender. He’s also a willing passer, racking up five games last season with at least five assists, all of which occurred in the 25 games he appeared in after the All-Star break. Though the Kings added veteran Zach Randolph to the mix heading into the 2017-18 season, Cauley-Stein still projects to be the starting center over him, Kosta Koufos and Georgios Papagiannis. Due to Sacramento’s center depth, it’s somewhat difficult to peg what Cauley-Stein’s exact role will be next season. Though, his heavy workload last season indicates that coaching and management believes in his potential as a long-term starting option. There are likely safer options from a workload perspective in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft, but he still has legitimate sleeper potential.
Cauley-Stein might not have received the accolades some of his fellow lottery picks did as rookies, but he validated the Kings' belief that he'd add some stability to the frontcourt, particularly for his work on the defensive end. While his averages of 5.3 boards and 1.0 block in 21.4 minutes per game didn't stand out, Cauley-Stein's seven-foot, 240-pound frame served as a constant deterrent for the opposition to attack the rim. Cauley-Stein's game remains less developed on the offensive end, but he did well to convert on most of his limited opportunities, averaging 7.0 points per game on 56.3 percent shooting from the floor. It seems unlikely that Cauley-Stein will develop enough of a perimeter game to raise his offensive floor much higher, but even as a Tyson Chandler-esque type who can protect the rim and excel at finishing near the basket, the 23-year-old would provide fantasy appeal through his rebounding, shot blocking and field-goal percentage. With DeMarcus Cousins expanding his offensive repertoire to the three-point line in 2015-16, he and Cauley-Stein are able to share the floor together, which was something of a concern heading into last season. Look for Cauley-Stein to see his minutes rise during his sophomore season, which should benefit his numbers across the board.
In an effort to improve upon their 27th ranked defense, the Sacramento Kings made the junior center out of Kentucky their selection with the sixth pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. The 2015 1st team All-American averaged 26 minutes, 8.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks while shooting 57 percent from the field last season. Cauley-Stein's best asset is his ability to defend in the paint as well as on the perimeter, drawing comparisons to athletic NBA centers like Tyson Chandler. His biggest weakness is a lack of development on the offensive end. Cauley-Stein has limited range as a shooter and needs to refine his repertoire with his back to the basket. He has shown promise as a free-throw shooter, having improved his free throw shooting from 37 percent as a freshman to 62 percent during his junior year. His role in the Kings rotation is still to be determined this season. There is a natural void in the frontcourt with Jason Thompson being jettisoned to Philadelphia, but head coach George Karl has mentioned that he would like to see more of Rudy Gay as a stretch four. Regardless, there should be ample opportunity for playing time, as Sacramento lacks appropriate depth behind Demarcus Cousins and will need Cauley-Stein on the court in order to improve their defense. After drafting WCS, the Kings also signed center Kosta Koufos in free agency, a player coach George Karl started at center back in Denver, so it's likely WCS will be coming off the bench behind Koufos to start the season.
More Fantasy News
Mild production in loss
CSacramento Kings
March 11, 2019
Cauley-Stein totaled 10 points (5-9 FG, 0-2 FT), eight rebounds, two assists, one steal and a block over 26 minutes in the Kings' loss to the Wizards on Monday.
ANALYSIS
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Foul trouble restricts big man
CSacramento Kings
February 25, 2019
Cauley-Stein had just four points and one rebound in 13 minutes during Monday's 112-105 loss to the Timberwolves.
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Double-doubles in victory
CSacramento Kings
February 24, 2019
Cauley-Stein produced 10 points (5-9 FG), 11 rebounds, two assists, and one block in 30 minutes during Saturday's 119-116 victory over the Thunder.
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Scores 19 points in statement win
CSacramento Kings
February 3, 2019
Cauley-Stein produced 19 points (8-9 FG, 3-5 FT), nine rebounds, three assists and two steals over 33 minutes in Saturday's 115-108 win over the Sixers.
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Swipes five steals in Friday's win
CSacramento Kings
January 25, 2019
Cauley-Stein collected 11 points (5-9 FG, 1-1 FT), six rebounds, five steals, two assists, and one block in 31 minutes during Friday's 99-96 win over the Grizzlies.
ANALYSIS
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