Willie Cauley-Stein was fishing when Warriors reached out to him
New Golden State Warriors center Willie Cauley-Stein was doing his best to ignore the truckload of money NBA stars were taking home on the first day of free agency, going out to fish to get away from the constant wave of signings that rained down during the first six hours:
“The first day (of free agency), I’m sitting there waiting on the top-tier dudes to go,” Cauley-Stein told Drew Shiller and Grant Liffmann of NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors Outsiders on Tuesday. “I picked up fishing because I was like, ‘I need to do something with this time.’ Sitting there waiting was just so brutal on my mental (health).”
Cauley-Stein headed out to a lake “in the boonies,” where he had no cell phone reception, and once his agent finally got a hold of him, he was forced to rush two miles down the road to talk to the Warriors:
“I’m sitting there on the phone and that’s when it’s like, well it’s a clock,” Cauley-Stein said. “Like, if you don’t take this (deal), it’s probably not going to be there in, like, 20 minutes.”
The Warriors were looking to quickly plug up the holes on their roster, having traded Kevin Durant for newly crowned All-Star D’Angelo Russell and re-signed Kevon Looney to a three-year, $15 million deal.
The prospect of keeping DeMarcus Cousins would have rang too expensive for a team that was now hard-capped, and looking at the best big men available for a small price was the avenue the front office chose to put atop their list.
Cauley-Stein’s two-year, $4.4 million pact was followed by the signing of Glenn Robinson III and later Alec Burks, who went back on an agreement with the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Warriors.