Dallas Mavericks player most likely to be traded before 2022 deadline: 3. Willie Cauley-Stein
New Mavs head coach Jason Kidd wasted little time naming his starting five to open training camp. He plans to play Kristaps Porzingis at the four next to Dwight Powell with Luka Doncic, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Tim Hardaway Jr. rounding out the unit.
That means Willie Cauley-Stein is fighting for backup center minutes with Maxi Kleber, Boban Marjanovic, and Moses Brown. Each has their strengths, and coach Kidd is likely to play the matchups at the position. Former coach Rick Carlisle had a quick hook, so it will be interesting to see if the Hall of Fame point guard does something similar.
The Mavericks are over the salary cap, so they will need to either use their trade exception to acquire a player making less than $11 million or match salaries in a deal. Cauley-Stein is the perfect piece to make that work with a rebuilding team because he is on a $4.2 million expiring contract.
Trill is a serviceable backup big man, but the Dallas Mavericks have depth at the five. They could look to trade a center for a secondary creator to balance out their roster. Willie Cauley-Stein’s expiring contract will make him attractive to rebuilding teams, but he is far from the only center the Mavs may move before the trade deadline.