Dallas Mavericks roster breakdown: Willie Cauley-Stein
Cauley-Stein is the player that is most hurt by the roadblock that is Dwight Powell and has been the ultimate beneficiary of Powell’s minutes’ reduction.
Since the departure of Tyson Chandler, the Mavs had searched for someone to fill the role of defensive anchor who is a threat in the screen and roll game. They tried their hand with Dwight Howard. The Mavs failed. They swung again with Deandre Jordan, only to be spurned once more before getting a shell of his former self when he finally did make it to Dallas.
Cauley-Stein fit that mold. He had the misfortune of playing in the crowded frontcourt of Sacramento, who seems to have an infatuation with drafting and signing big men rather than developing the ones they have. WCS had a short stint with the Warriors last season, although they lacked an identity without any of their stars healthy. That opened the door for the Mavericks to swoop in and pick him up in a trade.
Now to be fair, Cauley-Stein’s numbers do not pop on paper, but that is because of lack of opportunity. In the limited chances he has received, Trill has been productive. With last year’s per-36 minute averages being 15.4 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks, it’s clear that the only thing that is holding Cauley-Stein back is the lack of playing time.
Dallas presents the perfect place for this reclamation project. The results are already showing as he has the third-best defensive rating and the second-best offensive rating on the team. When Cauley-Stein is on the court, he makes an impact and is efficient in doing so. Look no further than his 62.6 field goal percentage, best on the team. Play the man.