Former Wildcats star Willie Cauley-Stein will stay in Dallas for at least one more season. The center signed a two-year deal with the Mavericks that has a team option on the second year, Shams Charania reports.
Team option on second season, sources said. Mavericks quietly received strong consideration from Marc Gasol since the start of free agency, but moved to re-sign Cauley-Stein today. https://t.co/OV8CcREFgP— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 22, 2020
Cauley-Stein initially signed with the Warriors last offseason before being dealt prior to the trade deadline for a second-round pick. Prior to the postseason, he played just 13 games, starting two of them. He averaged 5.2 points per game and shot 69 percent from the field.
A solid center option, Cauley-Stein was primarily known for his defense at Kentucky. A top-ten pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, he hasn’t really blossomed into the dominating rim protector the Kings, who drafted him half a decade ago, hoped he would be.
Having jumped from Sacramento to Golden State and now staying in Dallas, the 7-footer has proven that he can provide value as a backup center. His best season in Sacramento, Cauley-Stein averaged 12.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.
Boban Marjanovic is a utility center on the team as well. They’ll both be battling for minutes behind Kristaps Porzingis, a player with a track record of lengthy injuries throughout his career.
Shooting 61 percent from the line throughout his career, Cauley-Stein has been a liability at times given his lack of shooting. That’ll be a huge area that he needs to work on in order to solidify himself a spot in the Mavericks rotation.
A playoff team last season and run by the up-and-coming superstar Luka Doncic, the Mavericks should be able to become one of the most feared teams in the Western Conference, if they aren’t already.