The Kings have until June 30 to submit a qualifying offer to Willie Cauley-Stein, but his agent is urging them not to.
Roger Montgomery of Roc Nation Sports told Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee that his client would be better off with another team.
“I really think Willie needs a fresh start,” he said. “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 has spent four years in Sacramento after being the sixth pick in the 2015 draft. He became a full-time starter this season, averaging 11.9 points and 8.4 rebounds in 81 games. However, consistency and shaky defense have been concerns.
The Kings issued a statement in response to Montgomery’s comments, but gave no indication about their plans for a qualifying offer.
“Willie is a great player who has shown he can fit our style of play,” the statement read. “Beyond that, we can’t comment further.”
Cauley-Stein made nearly $4.7MM this season in the final year of his rookie contract. He is headed for free agency because he didn’t reach an extension agreement with the team last fall. The Kings can make him restricted, allowing them to match any offer, by extending a $6,265,631 QO.
“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 said. “That being said, I’m hopeful they will not even give Willie his qualifying offer so Willie can be an unrestricted free agent.”
The Kings have plenty of cap room to find a replacement if they decide to let Cauley-Stein go. Anderson mentions Nikola Vucevic, DeAndre Jordan, Jonas Valanciunas and Dewayne Dedmon as possible targets.