Report: Cauley-Stein wants out of
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[June 24, 2019]
With young, talented players at
multiple positions and the Western Conference in a state of flux,
the Sacramento Kings are being pegged by some as a potential
surprise team in the 2019-20 season.
But one of their most vital players apparently doesn't want to stick
around to see just how good the team can become.
Speaking to The Sacramento Bee on Saturday night, Roger Montgomery,
the agent for Willie Cauley-Stein, said his client no longer wants
to play for the team with which he has spent the first four seasons
of his career.
"I really think Willie needs a fresh start," Montgomery said,
according to The Bee's Jason Anderson. "Based on how things have
gone for him there in Sacramento, I just think it's time for Willie
to move on, and we'd really like him to move on."
Cauley-Stein, 25, was drafted sixth overall in 2015 and played out
his rookie contract this past season. He is now headed for free
agency, the only catch being that if the Kings extend Cauley-Stein a
qualifying offer, he would become a restricted free agent. That
would give the Kings the opportunity to match any offer another team
That is something Montgomery is hoping doesn't happen.
"We've kind of hoped that things would change over the years and
Willie would get a chance to expand his game, get a chance to get
some consistency there in terms of the roster turnover and the
coaching turnover and the things that have not been steady there,"
Montgomery told The Bee. "That being said, I'm hopeful they will not
even give Willie his qualifying offer so Willie can be an
unrestricted free agent."
Per league rules, the deadline to extend the qualifying offer to
Cauley-Stein is June 30, and the offer would be for $6,265,631.
Should the club indeed make him the offer, Cauley-Stein would only
be allowed to sign an offer sheet with another team, and the Kings
would then have 72 hours to match.
"Willie is a great player who has shown he can fit our style of
play," the Kings said later Saturday night through a statement to
The Bee. "Beyond that, we can't comment further."
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Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein (00) dunks the ball as
Portland Trail Blazers forward Skal Labissiere (17) and forward Jake
Layman (10) and forward Meyers Leonard (11) look on during the first
half of the game at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve
Dykes-USA TODAY Sports
In four seasons, Cauley-Stein has averaged 10.1 points, 6.4 rebounds
and 1.6 assists in 295 games (199 starts). He played in 81 games
last season, starting all of them. Over the last two seasons, he has
averaged 12.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists. He has also seen
his average minutes increase to 27.6 over the last two seasons,
after averaging 20.1 minutes in his first two seasons.
His increased role with the team has coincided with an increase in
the team's talent, particularly with younger players. Second-year
point guard De'Aaron Fox is up for the NBA's Most Improved Player
Award. Rookie Marvin Bagley III was named to the All-Rookie first
team, a distinction teammate Buddy Hield earned in the 2016-17
While the Los Angeles Lakers will add Anthony Davis via a trade with
the New Orleans Pelicans, injuries to players such as Kevin Durant
and Klay Thompson of Golden State; reported friction in Houston's
locker room; and big-name free agents such as Durant, Thompson,
Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard on the market, the Western Conference
appears as wide open as it has been in half a decade or more.
--Field Level Media
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