Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Sacramento Kings
Shooting Percentages: 56/50/55
Advanced Stat: Offensive Rating: 118
Two articles ago I wrote about how Enes Kanter would be an interesting acquisition for the Mavs. As a former teammate of Porzingis, he grabbed plenty of rebounds and post points while Porzingis did the shot blocking and floor spacing. Think of Cauley-Stein as the Kanter.
First thing I should address about Cauley-Stein is his misleading 3 point percentage; he’s made 1 three pointer. (Still more than Ben Simmons…) Cauley-Stein was predominantly a post player for the Kings in the same way DeAndre Jordan was for the Mavs.
79% of his 2 point field goals were assisted and he dunked 28% of the time. He shoots a staggering 71% in between the restricted area and the basket while shooting below 40% elsewhere. As a full-time center, Cauley-Stein’s offensive and defensive box plus/minuses were the highest they’ve been.
I seem to be spewing an endless amount of statistical information, so I’ll get to my point. Cauley-Stein is a predominant post player who is really young and underutilized in a game built on spacing the floor. Even though he grabs a fair amount of rebounds alongside Marvin Bagley, he isn’t a great post defender.
He could be an exceptional pickup for the Mavs if they play their cards correctly. Centers without floor spacing ability and an average defensive game are not high in demand. Last season, a big reason for the early success of the Mavs was the Mavs ability to grab defensive rebounds. Cauley-Stein could help bring that game to Dallas at the fraction of the price of a DeAndre Jordan.
While this seems like a weird signing, compared to DeAndre Jordan last season, Cauley-Stein and Jordan had similar seasons. While Jordan is the better shot blocker, Jordan’s defensive intensity was lackluster to begin the season. You know what you get with Cauley-Stein, so go grab him at a cheaper cost.