NBA Position: C
Hometown: Olathe, KA
High School: Olathe Northwest High School
Ceiling: Marcus Camby
Basement: Miles Plumlee
NBA Comparison: DeAndre Jordan
- Elite Athlete
- Long, NBA Frame
- Explosive Leaper
- Elite Shot-Blocker
- Rangy Defender
- Limited Offensively
- Average Rebounder For Position
At this stage in his development, sophomore center Willie Cauley-Stein, is a better shot-blocker than his predecessors Anthony Davis and Nerlens Noel.
Statistically he is blocking more of his teams’ available shots against and has been an imposing force on the defensive end. His elite, fluid athleticism is one of the major reasons why WCS has become such an elite shot-blocker. He is 7-1 244 lbs. but moves around the court and runs the floor like a wing. That fluid athleticism has allowed WCS to play a brand of full-court defense that is rare for a big man, but he defends the ball full court and has the natural athleticism to step out on the perimeter defending switches.
This season has been telling for WCS as he is playing in what would amount to an NBA system with 3-4 future NBA lottery picks in the starting line-up with him. Playing with great players generally brings the best out in great players.
In this case WCS has been able to be an athletic compliment to teammate Julius Randle playing defense, rebounding, and roaming free on the baseline to catch lobs over the defense. That is his role at the next level. Defend, block shots, rebound, and catch passes at the rim on the offensive end.
Defensively what is most impressive about WCS is not his shot-blocking, which comes with the territory, but it has been his ability to step out on the perimeter and defend.
He steps out and gets right into a lowered defensive stance that allows him to move with ball-handling big men or perimeter players that he switches on to. With his athleticism WCS on any given night is able to switch over and defend all five positions with his length, quickness, and leaping ability.
Outside of the paint WCS is not a threat on the offensive end, but he has improved as an offensive player showing more of a back-to-the-basket game, one dribble moves, and a sweeping hook.
On the offensive end he is still very raw and a work in progress, but he has shown some progression this season.
Very few prospects have the type of elite athleticism that WCS has and even fewer use it in the unique ways that he has so far this season. WCS can be an elite defender at the NBA level as a shot-blocker and with his ability to switch on pick-and-rolls to defend multiple positions. Offensively he is very raw with limited ability and has shown a work ethic to incrementally improve on that end.