The newest member of the Golden State Warriors, Willie Cauley-Stein, is in do-or-die mode.
The Golden State Warriors did a solid job of recovering from the loss of Kevin Durant. Adding multiple young players, the team is ready for a new direction. One of the most important acquisitions the Dubs made was 25-year old, Willie Cauley-Stein.
Stein entered the league with high aspirations. An athletic forward with a gigantic wingspan, WCS had a ton of potential. Winning multiple awards during his time in Kentucky, WCS did enough to earn a lottery selection from the Sacramento Kings.
Sadly, Stein didn’t translate to the NBA very well. After winning the 2014-15 SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Stein became a shell of himself defensively. Averaging just 0.8 blocks per game in his four seasons in the NBA, Stein has vanished on this end of the floor.
He hasn’t shown much improvement offensively either. A career 10.1 points per game scorer, there isn’t much that WCS brings to a team outside of his athleticism. Spending the first four years of his career with a lackluster Kings team could be the explanation for this.
Now that he is joining a team with championship pedigree, maybe WCS will finally make a leap in his development. He has the potential to be a productive two-way player, all he needs is some energy. Playing alongside Draymond Green could fix this.
The Warriors like to play fast and this will help Stein open up his game. He will have plenty of opportunities to show his speed and jumping ability in transition. If he can improve as a defender and finally become an elite shot-blocker, Stein will play big minutes for the Warriors.
In contrast, if he fails to succeed with the Dubs he may be on his way out of the league. This is the perfect scenario for him to clean his reputation and failure to do so could act as the nail in the coffin of his disappointing career.