With the 6th Pick: Willie Cauley-Stein


With the 6th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings took Willie Cauley-Stein. During a majority of the pre-draft process Cauley-Stein was on the short list of players that made a ton of sense for the Kings. Now that we know who the newest member of the Kings is, lets look at what it may mean.

Cauley-Stein has the ability to be an instant impact on the 2015-2016 season. On offense, I wouldn’t expect a lot. He isn’t a guy who will shoot a ton, but has incredible athleticism. He will be able to get out and run on the fast break. In half court sets, he can run the pick and roll with Darren Collison or Rudy Gay. He has an impressive ability to catch and finish at the hoop. Look for post to post alley-oops from DeMarcus Cousins. That said, his offense wasn’t the reason he was selected.

It was his defense that made him so desirable. He is the rim protector that many Kings fans have wanted for some time. He has the ability to switch on to almost any player on the floor. Against Notre Dame in the Elite Eight, Cauley-Stein showed off his skills. Not only is he able to switch on to smaller players in the half court, but he has the ability to run baseline to baseline.

The selection of Willie Cauley-Stein could also mean the Kings are going to try to keep franchise centerpiece DeMarcus Cousins. Cauley-Stein is the ideal defensive partner to put next to Cousins. Cousins will likely have to guard the less daunting player on most nights. He will allowed to save more energy for the offensive end. Cauley-Stein will likely start from the beginning of the season. Offensively, Cousins will likely see more time away from the rim, but should still see plenty of time in post, operating where he is most effective. Cousins and Cauley-Stein are also friends off the court. Cousins continues to be apart of the Kentucky Basketball program, spending time with the new crop of players. The two big men are said to be close and word was Cousins wanted Cauley-Stein to the pick at 6.

There is still a ton of time for the Kings to alter their roster between now and opening night, but the Cauley-Stein addition will allow Jason Thompson to slide to the bench. A spot that will be good for him. Thompson should thrive in a role as the backup center and help the Kings second unit which was a huge problem last season.

For any Kings fans who hope a trade for Ty Lawson could be coming, the Nuggets selected Emmanuel Mudiay with the 7th overall pick. He will be the point guard of the future and the Nuggets will likely look to move Lawson to a team in exchange for young assets. The Sacramento Kings have to be on a short list of teams that would look to acquire the point guard.