Mavericks: Can Willie Cauley-Stein and Kristaps Porzingis co-exist?
By Tyler Watts
Playing Willie Cauley-Stein and Kristaps Porzingis on the floor appears problematic. They work fine on the offensive end because KP can spread the floor. On defense, the Mavericks will struggle. Both are best at protecting the rim and have difficulties on the perimeter. Not many teams are playing two traditional big men anymore.
Some supporters worry about rebounding, but that should not be an issue. Having Luka Doncic grab 9.5 as the point guard gives Dallas a significant boost over almost any team. Cauley-Stein averaged 6.1 during his time with the Warriors. Dwight Powell was only pulling down 5.7 for the Mavs before his injury. The addition of Thrill likely improved the Mavericks’ rebounding.
The fact that playing Cauley-Stein and Porzingis on the floor together might not work does not mean it was not a wise trade. Coach Carlisle has options now. Both men can play well with Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith manning the four.
Cauley-Stein improves their rim protection when KP needs a rest. He also gives Dallas someone that can guard the big-bodied centers like Steven Adams and Rudy Gobert.
Willie Cauley-Stein seems excited about coming to Dallas too. Hopefully, Carlisle can unlock the 26-year-old’s considerable potential. Expect the Dallas Mavericks to not miss a beat after inserting Trill into the rotation.