Kings Open To Moving Willie Cauley-Stein?

The Kings made Willie Cauley-Stein the sixth overall pick in the 2015 draft less than a year and a half ago, but there already appears to be some uncertainty about his long-term future in Sacramento. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, word is that the Kings are “open to moving” Cauley-Stein, who would like a larger role than he currently has in Sacramento.

After averaging 21.4 minutes per contest in his rookie season, Cauley-Stein is playing just 14.5 MPG early on for the Kings. The 23-year-old big man hasn’t seen the floor at all in two of Sacramento’s 10 games so far under new head coach Dave Joerger, who has often leaned toward playing his veterans over his young players during the first 10 games of the season.

At this point in the season, with offseason signees still ineligible to be traded for at least another five weeks or so, the Kings likely won’t seriously consider any major moves involving Cauley-Stein or any of their other top trade candidates. However, Sacramento is certainly a team worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses, particularly if the club slips out of playoff contention.

In addition to Cauley-Stein, players like Rudy Gay, Kosta Koufos, Ben McLemore, and DeMarcus Cousins have been mentioned as potential trade candidates for Sacramento. Gay and Koufos still appear to be available, though it sounds as if the Kings would like to keep McLemore.

As for Cousins, according to Tim MacMahon of, the consensus among multiple league sources he spoke to was that it would be smart for the Kings to move the big man before the deadline. In the view of those sources, Cousins is unlikely to re-up with the franchise when he becomes eligible for free agency in 2018, so it makes sense to extract as much value as possible for him by dealing him this season, rather than trying to do so in a contract year.

During TNT’s Inside the NBA studio show on Thursday night, Shaquille O’Neal – who has a small ownership stake in the Kings – referred to Cousins as “hot-headed,” suggesting that the veteran center “hasn’t shown great leadership qualities yet.” O’Neal added that he’s hearing the club could be looking to go “in a different direction” if the Kings don’t show signs of improvement.

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11 thoughts on “Kings Open To Moving Willie Cauley-Stein?

  1. tvwthree

    I would love to see Boston go after Willy. They definitely have the picks and pieces to get the deal done.

      • ryanmcg125

        I agree cauley stein is a great rebounder and rim protector. Would add to the young talent and would be a great fit next to horford.

  2. smittybanton

    So many dudes the Kings should’ve taken over WCS. Not hindsight. Head scratcher at the time.

    I thought California boy, Stanley Johnson was a no brainer. And that Emmanuel Mudiay was a solid option. Justise Winslow.

  3. bookpeeps

    Bucks have been looking to trade Moose for awhile. I wonder if there is a fit there, especially if Sacramento prefers vets right now.

    • hill

      The last thing the Bucks need is another Big with no offensive game. Plumson Henlee is costing them $23 million per already. And why on earth would Sacto want a one dimensional Center on an expiring deal? Doesn’t seem at all like a fit.

  4. ‘m hoping the Bulls go after WCS and McLemore…The Kings can have Lopez as a back-up for Cousins, or as his replacement in case of a trade, also the Bulls could trade away McDermott, and 2 future 1st’s…

    Bulls Trade:
    *2 future 1st rounders

    Kings trade:
    *Ben McLemore

    Maybe the Bulls throw in Jerian Grant to sweeten the deal, but getting back a solid starting big, a solid 3-point shooter, and 2 future 1st rounders should be enough to pry away those two from the Kings.

    If the Kings do not want Lopez, I say the Bulls should trade Bobby Portis instead of Lopez, then throw in McDermott, the 2 1st’s, and then they also throw in maybe Grant and/or Canaan…

    Either way, I believe BOTH WCS and Ben Mac would both benefit from a change of scenery, and I think they would both fit in perfectly with the Bulls..

    If the 2nd trade happens:

    The Bulls 9-man rotation of Rondo, Wade, Butler, Gibson, Lopez, Mirotic, Cauley-Stein, McLemore, and Carter-Williams very possibly could rival any team in the East, not named Cleveland, but on any given night, the Bulls upsetting Cleveland would not shock me at all…

    I think a line-up of Wade, Butler, McLemore, Gibson, and WCS could very well be quite intriguing..

    Then again, most of this is probably all for not, considering the Kings might not even really want to trade B-Mac…unfortunately…

  5. weezlur11

    Why are the kings looking to move young players. They need to be grabbing assets and try to build a stable culture because currently it’s not great.

  6. Beer-man

    I rather keep WCS Trade Cousins to Boston instead. Time for Kings to go a different direction for locker room sake.


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