By Matt Gregan, Sports Talk Philly Staff Writer
The Philadelphia 76ers are signing former top-10 pick Willie Cauley-Stein to a 10-day contract, according to multiple reports. NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark was the first to report the news.
Cauley-Stein will compete to be the team's backup center behind All-Star Joel Embiid. He appeared in 18 games this season for the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 1.9 points and 2.1 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per game. He has jumped around throughout his career, with the Sixers being his fourth career team.
The 7-footer should help the Sixers improve their rebounding ability. The team is currently dead last in the NBA in rebounding, averaging 42.3 per game. He has averaged 8.8 points and 5.9 rebounds, including 1.7 offensive rebounds, in 22.1 minutes per game for his career.
In theory, he should fit well with new superstar acquisition James Harden, who has loads of experience playing with athletic, rim-running big men like Cauley-Stein. He is extremely athletic, but has struggled to stick in a consistent role anywhere throughout his NBA career.
Cauley-Stein will be competing with Paul Millsap, Paul Reed and Charles Bassey for the backup big men minutes. Millsap might have the step up due to his solid outside shooting and veteran presence, but Cauley-Stein is a better rebounder. Reed and Bassey will likely not see much time on the court for the remainder of this season because both require more development.
This is a low-risk, high-reward move for the Sixers. If Cauley-Stein does not pan out, they only signed him to a 10-day contract. If the move does work out, the team can sign him on for the rest of the season.