Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Willie Cauley-Stein’s Jumper Could Help Skyrocket Draft Stock
Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein has recently added a mid-range jumper to his offensive arsenal, and that hasn’t escaped NBA scouts.
One veteran scout told SNY.tv that the 7-foot junior could go as high as No. 2 in the NBA Draft if he can consistently make that shot.
“He’s always been a Top 10 player in the draft based on his ability to be a rim protector and rebounder, but if he can consistently show he can knock down an open 12-15 foot jump shot he can put himself in the discussion as a No. 2 pick.”
Asked if Cauley-Stein has shown that ability to consistently make it, the scout said, “I have not seen it consistently in games but he has the ability to do it from watching him earlier in the year.”
Cauley-Stein is currently projected as the No. 7 pick in the draft by DraftExpress.com. Duke’s Jahlil Okafor remains the consensus No. 1 pick, while Kentucky freshman big man Karl-Anthony Towns is projected at No. 4.
When DraftExpress posted its analysis of Cauley-Stein before the season, his jump shot was a big question mark.
“Still a major work in progress on the offensive end,” the site posted in this video. “Not a major threat to make jumpers or face up.”
Of course, if Cauley-Stein can show an ability to hit the mid-range, that could impact his stock in a major way.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.