Dallas Mavericks: Depth
The Mavericks frontcourt depth looks noticeably deeper than last season and all it took was grabbing Cauley-Stein from the Warriors. (Grabbing James Johnson can help too but he’s not really helping me confirm my priors right now.)
The 2019-2020 Dallas Mavericks started the season with a frontcourt of Dorian Finney-Smith, Dwight Powell, Kristaps Porzingis, Maxi Kleber, and Boban Marjanovic. Finney-Smith was only supposed to play power forward in small-ball situations but he was used more frequently after Powell’s injury.
Realizing how guard-heavy the team was, the team signed Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and traded for Cauley-Stein. Even with Kidd-Gilchrist not re-signing, Cauley-Stein re-signing was huge for the team.
When Porzingis comes back, a sure bet can be made that Dwight Powell will return to the starting lineup to the dismay of most MFFLs currently. That leaves Kleber and Cauley-Stein as the clear cut number two options at both positions. With James Johnson also a member of the second team, the team also has some versatility with how they can manage the frontcourt.
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So long are the days of Kleber and Finney-Smith having to match up with opposing centers and power forwards and play so many minutes in grueling playoff games because the team is lacking size. Cauley-Stein, and to a lesser extent James Johnson, are now here to give our best defenders the opportunity to catch a break.
Depth is valuable as the season progresses because it can take off some of the load from starting lineups. Having at least five legitimate options to play in the frontcourt is incredibly valuable even in a smaller more athletic league.
The team is currently on a two-game win streak and it is always nice when players who don’t get as much opportunity to play happen to shine in the moment. With several players missing for the next game against the Orlando Magic for Covid-19, Cauley-Stein will need to be even better offensively to make up for the void left by the absence of Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Josh Richardson.