Mavericks: Willie Cauley-Stein on his player option, position, and more

Dallas Mavericks Willie Cauley-Stein Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Willie Cauley-Stein Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Mavericks: Willie Cauley-Stein on his position, player option, and more

The Dallas Mavericks traded for Willie Cauley-Stein in January. They needed a big man after Dwight Powell suffered a season-ending injury. Cauley-Stein is a proven roll man and rim protector that gives his team versatility.

Things did not work out as planned in Dallas. Cauley-Stein struggled to get consistent minutes before missing seven straight games with a personal issue. He returned and was just getting comfortable when the NBA suspended play back in March. The seven-footer opted out of the restart for personal reasons.

Cauley-Stein was a guest on the 4 SZNS NBA Podcast with Ryan Magdziarz and Zak Noble on Nov. 2. He discussed a myriad of topics including his upcoming player option with the Mavs. Fans can listen to the entire episode here. Let us take a look at a few notable quotes from Trill.

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Dallas Mavericks big man Willie Cauley-Stein discusses his position, player option, and more

Cauley-Stein noted that he is currently working out twice a day including with the Mavericks staff. He was asked about what he is looking to improve on next season. Cauley-Stein answered with the following.

"“We’ve been working on expanding my game out more with pick and pop threes, corner threes, trailing threes, and playing off the catch.”"

The seven-footer made it known that he is working hard on adding a 3-point shot. He has attempted just 19 threes in his five NBA seasons. Coach Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks love to spread the floor and let them fly, though. It will be interesting to see how many Cauley-Stein attempts next season, and how efficiently he can connect on them.

The 27-year-old also had an interesting quote about how he views his position moving forward. See it below.

"“I don’t think I am a center. That is straight up. I am playing the center role, but I don’t think I am a center. Can I play the role? Yeah, I can play any role, but mind frame-wise, body-wise, speed-wise, I think I am a small forward/power forward. I think I can transition into that. I think for my career I need to transition into that because the game is expanding. The big guy is weeding out. If you can’t shoot threes, run the floor, and play defense, you are not going to play this game for very long.”"

They closed with a discussion about his upcoming player option with the Mavericks. Cauley-Stein had this to say when asked about money and the other factors surrounding his decision.

"“I mean that (money) really is the only factor. I love Dallas. I love the coaching staff. Coach Carlisle and I have gotten really close through the last four or five months. I feel real comfortable here. The only thing is I took a big hit financially through the COVID thing. I am sure like everybody did. Not playing the bubble really hurt me, so I need to secure my family.”"

Cauley-Stein continued with this about the Mavericks.

"“The situation here is so beautiful for me. I love the way they play. They let their bigs get out and make decisions. My daily progression with coach Carlisle, he is trusting like I see Willie every single day. I see that he is working on his game twice a day. That alone has given him the confidence to come down and work with me on my shot during my shooting times in the morning. Him coming to interact with me and just letting me know that he sees something. He wants to be part of that and help me get to that next level. I’ve only had a select few coaches that do that.”"

Trill is excited to get back on the court, and it sounds like he would love to do it in Dallas. It will be interesting to see if the financial situation works out.

Fans should listen to the full episode with Willie Cauley-Stein. Along with basketball, he talks art, producing content, and so much more. It is an enjoyable half-hour for every Mavericks fan.

Stay tuned to The Smoking Cuban for more of Cauley-Stein’s player option and all the offseason content Dallas Mavericks desire.

Next. How attractive are the Mavs to free agents?