This is the season Willie Cauley-Stein will break out. Right? Rookie lessons learned, sophomore season of indoctrination behind, it should be time for the third-year center to finally shine. Not so fast. The Kings have rarely developed their young players according to plan over the last decade-plus. Not even the perpetually upbeat Cauley-Stein could escape the pitfalls that come with being surrounded by uncertainty. “I think it’s tough, because normally your third year would be like that,” Cauley-Stein said of the potential to have a break out season. “But changing a whole coaching staff, changing the whole front office ... last year I feel like I was put in position to be a rookie all over again. So this year is kind of like year two for me in the sense that now I get to play and kind of experiment.” That won’t silence critics who laughed at general manager Vlade Divac for using the sixth overall pick in the 2015 draft on a player many saw as a potentially gifted defender with limited offensive capabilities. In his first two seasons, Cauley-Stein seemed intent on proving his doubters wrong. But now he says he doesn’t care about that. The former Kentucky star understands this is a process, and he’s learned patience.
Why Cauley-Stein’s breakout season might have to wait another year
Sacramento Bee | Oct 7