Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird has described former Kentucky starlet and top NBA prospect Willie Cauley-Stein as a ‘$100m player’ ahead of entering the league.
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The NBA Draft 2015 takes place on June 25, with the Draft lottery being held this coming Tuesday to determine the order in which the teams with the highest picks will make their selections.
While a lot is said in the build up to the big night for the college stars, it remains to be seen whether this is a legitimate move to make teams aware that the Pacers are open to making a trade to acquire Cauley-Stein or just to take rival teams away from their actual targets.
Regardless, the former Kentucky star will take the comment from Bird on board as he is hopeful that he will be selected in the top four of the Draft.
“Larry [Bird] told me, ‘I think you’re a $100 million dollar player.’ I hear that and I’m like, ‘Really?!’” the Indianapolis Star reported.
“They see me as a player in the five position & put Paul [George] at the four. Now I’ll have a mismatch…”
Cauley-Stein is expected to have a workout with the Pacers in the coming weeks, and it is interesting to hear that the organisation spoke with him regarding how they would use him if he were to join them somehow.
The Pacers currently have the 11th overall selection in the Draft, with only a 0.7 percent chance of ending up with the top pick in the Draft lottery on Tuesday.
As a result, Cauley-Stein will most probably be off the board by then and so if Bird is as big a fan as his comments would suggest, then he will need to formulate a strategy to move up and acquire a higher pick before or even on Draft night.