SACRAMENTO -- If you can't beat ‘em, join ‘em.
That appears to be the latest approach from the Kings' starting center, Willie Cauley-Stein.
"This is how many Rebounds y'all thought I was gonna get...😂😂😂 love y'all," Cauley-Stein posted Saturday on Instagram.
The 7-footer has a propensity to open his mouth and insert his foot on occasion. From being honest about wanting to "get paid," to talking about his $100 million competition, Cauley-Stein has opened himself up to criticism and become the target of negativity from plenty of Kings fans.
Against the Warriors on Saturday, Cauley-Stein posted 14 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and two steals in 31 minutes. He's averaging 13.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals in 28.8 minutes per game so far this season. All of those numbers are career highs for the 25-year-old big.
Like the rest of the roster, Cauley-Stein has had his share of struggles on the defensive end, and his block totals have dropped substantially. But he is an integral part of the Kings' rotation this season.
Consistency still is an issue, but the former Kentucky star has posted 14 double-doubles in 39 games, and has 22 contests with at least eight rebounds for Sacramento.
Cauley-Stein is a restricted free agent after the season. If the Kings extend a $6.3 million qualifying offer, they'll have the right of first refusal on any offer sheet he signs with another team.
So, the rangy center has a lot riding on the second half of the season.