C, Kentucky Wildcats, 2015 (No. 6)
A current King has made the list of top -15. In the hopes of receiving a complimentary big to DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings used the fifth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft on center Willie Cauley-Stein out of the University of Kentucky. Cauley-Stein played three years in Lexington for head coach John Calipari before eventually turning pro.
Right now, Cauley-Stein has three seasons under his belt with the Kings. So far in his tenure, he is averaging 9.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks per contest while making 52.4 percent of his total shots from the field.
It’s not what you want out of a top-six pick, but it seems that Cauley-Stein has developed some level of staying power in head coach Dave Joerger’s rotation the last two years. That being said, he will need to step it up in his final two years of his rookie contract that it set to expire in summer 2019.
Although Cauley-Stein has not reached his full potential, he has shown a gradual level of improvement since being drafted. Hopefully, he can continue to develop and be the player Kings fans hoped he would be when being drafted. His progression would help the Kings get better and expedite their rebuild immensely.