• Michael Austin

Willie Cauley-Stein Joins Golden State


USA Today

What’s the deal?

Reports are that Cauley-Stein is joining the Golden State Warriors on a one year deal just over the minimum salary. He was a very solid player for the Kings last season, averaging 12 points and eight rebounds.

The Warriors were devastated by the losses of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and to a much lesser extent DeMarcus Cousins. Despite this, they’ve done a great job retooling to make another playoff run. D'Angelo Russell and Cauley-Stein help round out a solid starting lineup that is sure to be lethal on the offensive end.

What does Cauley-Stein bring to the Warriors?

For years, the biggest weakness of Golden State has been their frontcourt. With the addition of a player like Cauley-Stein as well as the re-signing of Looney, those concerns are gone. The young center’s presence in the paint will help open up Curry’s game. Between the rebounding, the screens and low post offense, things are going to start opening up for the point guard.

Cauley-Stein also brings some much needed youth to the lineup. The Warriors were a very old team last season, and in the playoffs it showed. Now that they’ve added Russell and Cauley-Stein, they’ve gotten significantly younger. If the team manages to make a playoff push this upcoming season, it will be very helpful to have these young guys with fresh legs.

What does this move mean for Golden State?

Golden State is not throwing in the towel next year. They believe they can win. If Klay Thompson comes back in time for the playoffs and is close to his normal self, they just might. With Durant off the team, Curry and Thompson are sure to put up big numbers this upcoming season. When Durant was out, it seemed to unlock Steph Curry’s game. He looked like an MVP again.

The Warriors signings of Russell and Cauley-Stein is them going all in on Steph Curry. It seems like a safe bet.

How would you grade this contract?

This contract gets an A+. Willie Cauley-Stein is a starting caliber big man. Getting him for just over the minimum is a steal. It’s a classic low-risk high-reward scenario. Cauley-Stein is looking for a fresh start. Joining an established playoff team may unlock his game and bring his numbers up. This would, in turn, help the Warriors stay close to contention.

Final thoughts

Many experts have been saying that the Warriors are no longer championship contenders. Some have gone even farther, saying the squad won’t even make the playoffs. Do not count them out. They’ve added some very nice pieces this off season and Curry is set to have one of his best statistical seasons. If the Warriors manage to sneak into a lower playoff seeding and Thompson returns just in time, we may see a first round upset. Who knows what could happen next.

#Kings #MichaelAustin #2019NBAFreeAgency #2019FreeAgentSignings