Dallas Mavericks: The curious case of Willie Cauley-Stein

Willie Cauley-Stein, Center, Dallas MavericksMandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Willie Cauley-Stein, Center, Dallas MavericksMandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Mavericks Center Willie Cauley-Stein has been an interesting case for the team thus far.  Last offseason, the 27-year-old center re-signed with the Dallas Mavericks for two years, 8.2 million. However, there is one big catch. Cauley-Stein’s contract includes a team option this upcoming year.

So the big question is: Should the Mavs’ retain their veteran center?

Center Willie Cauley-Stein has been an interesting case for the Dallas Mavericks

Cauley-Stein’s resume with the Mavericks has been an interesting one. He came to Dallas last season with a trade from the Golden State Warriors. At that time, he was averaging 7.9 points to go 6.2 rebounds. However since the trade, his numbers have been stagnant at best.

When the seven-foot center arrived in Dallas last season, he showed small flashes of what he could do. For example, in his first game with the Mavs he scored four points to go with three rebounds. Afterwards, he went on to produce the usual: which was around four to six points and five to six rebounds. His best game last season came against the Charlotte Hornets where he had 15 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.

Fast forward to this season and, well, not much has improved. This NBA year he is averaging 5.3 points and 4.4 rebounds. His best game this season was back on January 15th against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Against the Bucks, Cauley-Stein topped in 11 points and 10 rebounds. However since that game, he has only had one other game where he tallied more than 10 rebounds. Fast forward to two weeks ago, and the Mavs center had 12 rebounds against the Wizards.

When given the time, he has shown flashes of being a reliable center. While he is not starter, he can produce quality boards down low.

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On average, the veteran center plays around 17 minutes a game. As of late, his minutes per game have been sort of fluctuating.  Sometimes the Mavs’ coach plays him anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes, and other days he can play around five to 10 minutes.

Really the biggest issue in his inconsistency he brings at times. Yes Coach Carlisle does not always play him in big minutes, but his failure to produce at times is what hurts the most.

If the Mavs were to move on from Cauley-Stein, it would put a dent at their center spot. Other centers for the team include an alternating Kristaps Porzingis, Boban Marjanovic and at times Dwight Powell. One can make the argument that Cauley-Stein is a better rebound than KP. Contrast him to Boban and Powell, and well yes he is also slightly better at grabbing rebounds.

This is why Cauley-Stein’s case is an interesting one.

If the Mavs keep their center, it would be wise to not over pay for him.

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Next. Should the Mavs prioritize playoff seeding or KP's health?. dark

Looking towards the future, the veteran will make a valuable asset for a team needing fire power off the bench. The question will be: Will the Mavericks want to bring back their center, or could they look elsewhere?

  • Published on 05/07/2021 at 12:50 PM
  • Last updated at 05/07/2021 at 12:50 PM