Much like Julius Randle last season, Willie Cauley-Stein might have a foot problem.
Three days before the NBA Draft, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.comsays NBA teams have concerns about the foot Cauley-Stein broke against Louisville in the Sweet 16 in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The forward/center missed the Cats’ next three games, including the national championship loss to Connecticut that year.
Cauley-Stein returned last season and played well enough to be considered a probable lottery pick. He has been invited to New York for Thursday night’s draft.
Yet, Givony reported that “Five separate NBA teams we spoke with all indicated varying degrees of concern after consulting with their team doctors this week, with some saying it may cost the Kentucky big man a few spots on draft night.”
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Said one scout to DraftExpress: “There is some maintenance that needs to be done there, as it’s not completely clear whether the injury healed in a proper way. The pin that was inserted is supposed to be sitting at a 90 degree angle, but instead it’s at 45 degrees. That, plus some question marks about his background that came up could cause him to drop a few slots.”
Before last year's draft, questions surfaced about Randle and a broken foot the former Cat had suffered in high school. Randle ended up being drafted No. 7 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Randle broke his leg in the first game of the regular season last October and missed the rest of his rookie season. In January, Randle took advantage of the down time to have surgery to replace a screw in the previously injured foot. Randle has made a full recovery from both injuries.