In this day and age, players and agents hold the cards in negotiation. Back in the way back, if you wanted out of a contract, you had to gid your way out with an out-of-pocket buyout. That’s not to say, pro athletes shouldn’t have agency in their careers. Quite the opposite. 

On that note, Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein is hopeful the organization will grant him leave of absence, through a trade of some sort. Instead of playing himself out of position, Cauley-Stein deployed his agent, Roger Montgomery of Roc Nation Sports, to get behind the eight ball. Easily enough, Montgomery went straight to the Sac Town’s leading print media outlet as the first order of operation.

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“I really think Willie needs a fresh start,” Montgomery told the Sacramento Bee. “Based on how things have gone for him there in Sacramento, I just think it’s time for Willie to move on and we’d really like him to move on.”

“I’m hopeful they will not even give Willie his qualifying offer,” he continued. You might be wondering why of all people, Willie Cauley-Stein, a serviceable NBA talent with little star power, is making such demands. If I’ve read into this correctly, Cauley-Stein and his agent believe he’s being overlooked or stifled by a deepening Sacramento Kings’ rotation.

In his first four years in the NBA, Cauley-Stein has averaged 10.1 points at a 53.4 percentage from the floor, along with 6.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game. If the Kings don’t extend him a qualifying offer by the end of the month, his rookie deal will expire, rendering him an unrestricted free agent, free to sign anywhere else in the league. Don’t think for a second this ploy wasn’t orchestrated several months in advance.