Willie-Cauley Stein made a lot of sacrifices to sign with the Warriors this summer. So far, it hasn’t been the dream he had hoped for.
After making a name for himself in Sacramento, he signed with Golden State not knowing what to expect. Aside from a bruised, battered, and broken roster, he is playing just 16 minutes per game with career-low marks across the board in most statistical categories.
To put the tragic situation into perspective, Stein chose the Warriors over a number of other suitors in free agency, including the Charlotte Hornets who were prepared to offer double the salary with an undoubtedly bigger role.
According to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle, former Kings’ big man knew the Warriors could offer just slightly more than a minimum contract ($4.5 million for two years), a far cry from the $9 million offer the Hornets extended during free agency. The Kings also extended an offer in the summer, but Cauley-Stein turned it down, ready to move on with his career.
Specifically, Letourneau notes an instance back in 2017, when it was first relayed to the young center that the Warriors might have interesting in acquiring him.
“Shoot,” said Cauley-Stein, who at the time was out of the Kings’ rotation. “I’ll put on a jersey right now.”
It’s hard to say how things might have been different for the young big man had he made a different choice this past summer. He’s a Warrior now, and that’s all that really matters.
Hopefully, with a new team around him and lowered expectations, Stein can blossom into the player we all thought he could be coming out of Kansas.