Rockets, Willie Cauley-Stein Agree To One-Year Deal

The Rockets and free agent center Willie Cauley-Stein have agreed to a one-year contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but Charania suggests that Cauley-Stein will compete in training camp for a spot on the regular season roster. That means it’s almost certainly a minimum-salary deal and likely won’t be fully guaranteed.

Cauley-Stein, who will turn 29 next Thursday, appeared in a total of 20 games last season for the Mavericks and Sixers, playing a limited role. In 2020/21, the big man averaged 5.3 PPG and 4.5 RPG in 53 contests (17.1 MPG) for Dallas. He has also spent time with Sacramento and Golden State since entering the league as the sixth overall pick in 2015.

The Rockets currently have 20 players under contract, so they’ll have to waive or trade someone in order to make Cauley-Stein’s signing official.

Houston already has 18 players on guaranteed salaries and is considered unlikely to keep most of the players that came over from Dallas in the Christian Wood trade (Marquese Chriss, Trey Burke, Sterling Brown, and Boban Marjanovic). It’s possible one of them will be cut to make room for Cauley-Stein, who could end up competing for a roster spot against fellow bigs like Marjanovic and Bruno Fernando.

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