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


USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt is on site at NBA Summer League and the buzz surrounding a potential Russell Westbrook trade has dominated the conversation.

The first few days of NBA free agency are a frenzy. Players, team management and agents are constantly on the phone with each other. Social media goes crazy trying to soak up every #WojBomb, meme, rumor and bit of 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 in time could be the difference between a roster spot and millions of dollars and continuing to fish for a job.

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

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

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