Cauley-Stein averaged 11.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game last season, starting all but one game. His signing is something of a coup for the Warriors, who are hard-capped due to their sign-and-trade agreement for D'Angelo Russell. That means they cannot go over the tax apron, which left them with next-to-no room to fill out their roster with $131.6 million in guaranteed money on their roster.
The team will be forced to waive or trade Shaun Livingston to get under the tax apron. It will only have minimum contracts and its two second-round picks (Alen Smailagic and Eric Paschall) to fill out the remainder of their roster.
Cauley-Stein and Kevon Looney will battle for the starting center position. The Warriors will likely run more pick-and-roll with Russell, and Cauley-Stein is an athletic big who crashes to the rim hard and has the ability to catch lobs in traffic. This will likely be a far less motion-based offense than previous Warriors iterations in a stylistic adjustment that is required given the changes to their roster.
After Kevin Durant announced his intention to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, the Warriors worked out a sign-and-trade deal for Russell, which necessitated the trade of Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Warriors will begin the season with Stephen Curry and Russell as their starting backcourt while Klay Thompson recovers from an ACL tear.
Russell is viewed as little more than a stopgap, with the New York Times' Marc Stein reporting the All-Star guard was signed to be traded at a later date.
Cauley-Stein at this price is a steal, and he'll likely look to have a breakout year in Golden State before hitting the open market and cashing in next summer. While that does not appear to have worked for DeMarcus Cousins, Cauley-Stein is not coming off a serious injury and could thrive in a change of scenery.