Warriors Rumors: Ex-Kings C Willie Cauley-Stein to Sign with GSW

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2019

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 10:  Willie Cauley-Stein #00 of the Sacramento Kings dunks the ball against the Portland Trail Blazers on April 10, 2019 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cameron Browne/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors and center Willie Cauley-Stein have reportedly come to terms on a contract Tuesday. 

Marcus Thompson of The Athletic reported the news, with ESPN's Zach Lowe noting he will make "slightly" above the minimum ($1.7 million). 

The 25-year-old spent his first four NBA seasons with the Sacramento Kings. The Kings allowed Cauley-Stein to hit unrestricted free agency after reportedly reaching an agreement with Dewayne Dedmon.

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.

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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.