Willie Cauley-Stein utilizing Peja Stojakovic is a smart move

Willie Cauley-Stein
Oct 30, 2015; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein (00) dribbles the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers in the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Kings won 132-114. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Entering his second season, Willie Cauley-Stein is looking to expand his game by adding a more consistent shot. During his first season with Sacramento, Cauley-Stein averaged 22 minutes per game producing about 7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1 block per game. Statistically, it wasn’t the best rookie season but it’s definitely something that the Kings can build on.

Willie Cauley-Stein decided to go in the bag of tricks that Sacramento provided and get assistance from a guy named Peja Stojakovic. One of the best to play in a Kings uniform, Stojakovic has been helping Cauley-Stein work on his shot:

“Peja’s kind of mentoring me right now,” the 7-footer told CSN California. “Especially in the summer time, I did a lot of work. Our goal everyday was to make 700 shots. So by the end of the week, we were making thousands of shots.”

“We started from the basic things, understanding what it takes to be a good shooter,” Stojakovic told CSN California on The Kings Insider Podcast. “We still talk about that and when he misses a shot, he walks by me and says, ‘legs’. It’s all about strength in your legs, it’s all about the rhythm and it’s all about repetition that eventually make you a better shooter.”

This is a superb move by Willie Cauley-Stein. We all know that the NBA is moving in the direction of more and more big men being able to produce away from the basket. In order to become more effective on the court, it’s imperative that the 2nd year forward incorporates a mid-range jump shot.

Willie Cauley-Stein
A breakdown of Willie Cauley-Stein’s shot selection from the 2015-2016 season via NBA.com.

Although Willie Cauley-Stein didn’t take many shots last season, when he did they were mostly inside. Coming into the league, he was mostly drafted for his size, athleticism, and his prowess on the defensive end. Getting the help and assistance from one of the best shooters that the Kings organization has ever seen can benefit Cauley-Stein in a huge way. Stojakovic was a huge part of those Sacramento teams that went deep into the playoffs. If Willie can fully embrace this mentorship and continue to work on perfecting his shot, this could truly benefit his career going forward.

In case you forgot, check out how dynamic of a shooter Peja Stojakovic really was!


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