Video: Sacramento Kings rookie Willie Cauley-Stein impressing coach, teammates
The Sacramento Bee provides a primer for each of the 15 players on the Kings’ roster entering their 2015-16 campaign, which begins Wednesday, Oct. 28, at home against the Los Angeles Clippers. View the rest of the profiles here.
Willie Cauley-Stein played three seasons for Kentucky. At age 22, he is something of an old NBA rookie. As the sixth pick in last spring’s draft, Cauley-Stein isn’t being asked to be his team’s savior. The Kings would simply like him to play hard and let everything else happen.
Cauley-Stein needs work on his offense; he averaged 8.0 points a game in his career at Kentucky. But he has shown flashes on defense, essentially the reason the Kings selected him. He has range and an ability to protect the basket.
Cauley-Stein’s adjustment to the NBA game will be a process, but he’s on track, coach George Karl said.
“I think he’s getting more comfortable,” Karl said during the preseason. “I think he’s getting in better shape. I think he has to understand for him to get on the court, energy is probably more important than skills.”
PLAYER BIO: WILLIE CAULEY-STEIN
Position/jersey: Center, No. 00
Height/weight: 7-0, 240
Prior to NBA: Kentucky
Key 2014-15 stat: Shot 61.7 percent from the foul line as a junior after shooting 37.2 percent as a freshman.
Comment: Athleticism and shot blocking will be valuable as Kings try to improve their defense.
You’ve got to find out how you move somebody who is bigger than you. You’ve got to play smarter than them.