Much speculation has been made about who the Sixers would sign to their empty roster spot. According to John Clark, Willie Cauley-Stein will fill that role. Cauley-Stein is a former sixth overall pick out of Kentucky drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2015.
He certainly hasn’t lived up to the expectations. Over his career, he boasts averages of 8.8 points and 5.9 rebounds, but he remains a rim-runner with plus athleticism, something the Sixers are likely looking to pair with James Harden. He’s a rather simple player, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
There may be some disappointment in the signing as many fans were expecting a big move after Daryl Morey talked up the Sixers’ future signing on The Rights to Ricky Sanchez podcast; however, this is still a move worth some excitement. Cauley-Stein is an intriguing signing for the Sixers for two reasons:
First, as mentioned previously, Cauley-Stein is an athletic, rim-running big, someone who fits seamlessly on paper with James Harden. He’ll essentially act as a minutes eater for Doc when he needs another big man. As unproven as he is, Cauley-Stein is certainly more proven than either Paul Reed or Charles Bassey, who fans may prefer to see. His presence will give both Doc Rivers and James Harden a greater sense of confidence on the court.
Second, Cauley-Stein is only signing a 10-day contract, not one for the remainder of the season. This gives the Sixers more flexibility moving forward. They can either resign him to another 10-day, resign him to a rest-of-the-season contract, or allow him to walk and look to replace him with another player. There is virtually no risk in this decision and the potential for a half-decent reward.
The Sixers are the latest stop for Cauley-Stein, who has made stops in Sacramento, Golden State, and, most recently, with the Dallas Mavericks. His journey hasn’t been the most decorated, but it’s far from over. Cauley Stein has a legitimate opportunity to help the Sixers make a deep playoff run. What happens from here on out is up to him.