Willie Cauley-Stein wants to prove that he deserves a good contract next summer, and so far, he has done a decent job. Willie appeared in six preseason matches in which he averaged 11.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and two assists a night. He also recorded the second highest PER on the team with a 25.2, the fifth highest offensive rating with a 116.6, and the second best defensive rating with a 105.5. He would have had the best defensive rating if Wenyen Gabriel, who played a lesser role, was not on the list.
Although Willie had some subpar performances during his preseason campaign, he still proved that he is one of the better players on the current Kings roster and definitely the starting center when opening night comes around.
The way Willie played this last week does not earn him a big contract yet, but there is some promise that he will be a better player during the regular season. If Willie continues to improve his game, especially in his rebounding and defense, he can help elevate the Kings to another level this campaign. And with that, he can be one of the core guys that the Kings build around for the future.