Draft Picks #6 through #10 (w/video)

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#8 Willie Cauley-Stein

Interior presence is a rare quality at the NBA level.  Teams like the Miami Heat acquired Greg Oden just to have any resemblance of it.  The Indiana Pacers acquired Andrew Bynum to maintain it when Hibbert is out with foul trouble.  Who better than a Tyson Chandler-clone to provide that kind of presence?  Willie Cauley-Stein was the #1 wide receiver in Kansas, article found here.  That allowed him to gain strength before he entered NCAA basketball.  Instead of being 225lbs. like Chandler was out of high school, he’s already 240lbs., before the NBA workouts have kicked in.  He shows excellent timing in terms of rebounding and shotblocking, and runs the floor like a small forward because, well, he’s a wide-receiver.  Unlike most centers, he excels in transition.  He may not be as fast as Greg Oden or Shaquille O’Neal when they first entered the NBA, but he will run the floor at a pace that doesn’t lag the fastest teams in the league.  He’s developing a fair touch within 5′.  Not everything is a dunk.  The worst case scenario for him is DeAndre Jordan (who has a 7’6″ wingspan, unlike Cauley-Stein at 7’2″), but he’s the center that teams wish they had every night.  There are sickle cell issues healthy-wise which may limit his playing time to 25-30 minutes a game.  Still, that’s the same amount of minutes that Jordan and Chandler are getting now.