Willie Cauley-Stein isn’t exactly a name that a lot of casual NBA fans may recognize, but he could be a key addition to the Timberwolves if another team doesn’t outbid them.
Cauley-Stein is a prototype of the modern NBA big, at least, in the defensive sense. His 11.9 points and 2.4 assists per game were nothing to write home about, but he also averaged 1.2 steals and 0.6 blocks a night.
He generated those numbers while shooting 55.6 percent from the field, and all of that led to him recording a Player Efficiency Rating of 18.0. He’s improved in nearly every statistic every year that he’s been in the league, and he played in a career-high 81 games during the 2018-19 season, starting in all of them.
The former Kentucky Wildcat big man could sit right behind KAT or Dieng in the lineup, and he could keep the Wolves identity of a tough defensive team in line. Cauley-Stein could also grow a lot in his abilities as a player by learning from Towns, who came from the same Kentucky system.
It’d be hard to offer him as much money as other potential suitors, but there’s a lot the Wolves can throw in with that, including the ability to offer Cauley-Stein a great mentor, a chance to play in the playoffs and a spot on a young and promising team.