Why fishing almost kept NBA free agent Willie Cauley-Stein from signing with the Warriors

The first day or two of NBA free agency are a frenzy. Players, team management and agents are constantly on the phone with one another. Social media goes crazy wanting to soak up every #WojBomb, meme, rumor and little breaking news.

For a lot of non-marquee players, the window to sign with a team can open and close fast. Not answering a call, text, email or message over time could be the huge difference between a roster spot and huge amount of money and continuing to catch a job.

But don’t tell that to free agent Willie Cauley-Stein. Since when the Golden State Warriors wanted to offer him a contract, that he was fishing for… well, he was fishing.

“The first day (of free agency), I am sitting there waiting on the top-tier dudes to go, ” Cauley-Stein told NBC Sports Bay Area on Tuesday. “I found fishing because I was like, ‘I need to do something with this time. ‘ Sitting there waiting was just so brutal on my mental (health). ”

So Cauley-Stein headed out to a lake “in the boonies, ” where he previously no cell service, so when his agent finally got in touch with him, he had to high-tail it back to land and drive two miles down a road to talk to the Warriors’ brass.

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“I’m sitting there on the phone and that is when it’s like, well it is a clock, ” Cauley-Stein said. “Like, unless you take this (deal), it’s probably not planning to be there in, like, 20 minutes. ”

Cauley-Stein ultimately consented to a two-year, $4. 4-million contract with the Warriors, according to The Athletic — interrupting his peaceful offseason, and delaying the likelihood of hooking a trophy for his wall, to finalize the deal.

Now, after averaging 10. 1 points and 6. 4 rebounds over four seasons with the Sacramento Kings, he’ll join a Warriors team that has reached the NBA Finals in each of the past five years, with three championships.

Maybe Cauley-Stein will celebrate by wetting a line. That he just better make sure to tell his agent now that he’s gone fishing.

Contributing: Tom Schad

Follow David Harten on Twitter @DavidHarten_CJ.

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