Derek Bodner of USA Today has been breaking down some of the best and worst prospects available in this June’s draft and it should come as no surprise that Willie Cauley-Stein is on the list being with positive remarks. Earlier this week it was revealed that the Knicks have been eying WCS with the number 4 pick while the Boston Celtics are considering trading up to acquire him. Larry Bird even called Trill a “100-million dollar player”. Is he worth all of the hype and a top ten selection? Bodner thinks so as he named WCS the safest NBA draft pick available. Here’s a bit of what he had to say:
Cauley-Stein has always been a good shot blocker, having averaged 2.5 per game over his first two seasons at Kentucky. With the arrival of Karl-Anthony Towns this season Cauley-Stein, was pushed out on the perimeter defensively. While doing that caused a drop in his shot blocking numbers, it also helped showcase just how versatile and unique of a defender he really is.
Cauley-Stein’s as quick and athletic as any 7-footer in basketball. He has physical traits which not only allow him to defend perimeter-oriented big men but also allow him to jump out on ball handlers on the pick and roll, slow them down, and recover back to his man. Cauley-Stein even shows an ability to switch out on, and hold his own against, quick guards that would eat slower-footed big men alive.
[USA Today: Top 3 Safest Draft Picks]
With Willie Cauley-Stein NBA GMs should know exactly what they are getting. A freakish athlete that can guard any position and finish at the rim. He’s been doing that for the past 3 years in Lexington and that makes him a pretty safe bet that he won’t end up a bust like a Kelly Oubre could. In today’s NBA slow footed big men are falling to the wayside in favor of guys who can defend against the guard attack strategy teams are using. No wonder WCS could go as high as fourth.