The Dallas Mavericks made a much-needed addition to their frontcourt when they acquired Willie Cauley-Stein in a trade with the Golden State Warriors earlier this year, but the center will not be helping the team fight for a championship in Orlando.
Cauley-Stein has decided to sit out the resumption of the NBA season, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. He and his partner are expecting a baby next month.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 25, 2020
Cauley-Stein averaged 7.9 points and 6.2 rebounds in 14 games with the Mavericks. He has a player option worth $2.28 million for next season, so he could remain with Dallas.
The Mavericks are currently the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, and they have a seven-game lead over the No. 8 seed Memphis Grizzlies. Barring a complete disaster, they’re going to make the playoffs. Not having Cauley-Stein could be very problematic for them.
Willie Cauley-Stein is on the move.
According to various reports, the Dallas Mavericks have acquired Cauley-Stein from the Golden State Warriors. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Mavericks are sending a 2020 second-round draft pick originally owned by the Utah Jazz to Golden State to complete the trade.
Cauley-Stein has been a regular starter for the Warriors this season, starting in 37 of his 41 appearances so far. He has averaged 7.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks.
The Mavericks badly needed center depth after Dwight Powell’s season-ending injury, and even reached out to a familiar name before settling on a Cauley-Stein trade. The Warriors, meanwhile, open up a roster spot and get out of facing Cauley-Stein’s $2.28 million player option for 2020-21, giving them a tiny bit more flexibility going forward
Steve Kerr was ejected from Monday night’s Golden State Warriors-Sacramento Kings game after berating the referees.
Warriors big man Willie Cauley-Stein drove to the basket and laid one in with under 1:20 left to make it a 49-36 game. Kerr thought Cauley-Stein was fouled on the play and began yelling at referee Jason Goldenberg when one was not called. He started yelling “wake the f–k up” at Goldenberg and was given two technical fouls and tossed.
"Wake up! Wake the f— up!"
Steve Kerr gave the refs a piece of his mind and got tossed. pic.twitter.com/x9JnVhgNBk
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 7, 2020
On the previous play, De’Aaron Fox was given a foul call, which likely upset compounded Kerr’s frustration.
The ejection was the third of Kerr’s career and second in Sacramento. If he was going to get tossed, at least he got his money’s worth.
Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns were both called for flagrant fouls on Wednesday night for landing under the feet of shooters while attempting blocks on closeouts.
Towns was called for the flagrant foul for landing under Dillon Brooks during the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 137-121 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. He seemed confused about the call.
KAT given a flagrant on this play – is feet under a shooter a flagrant now? pic.twitter.com/90BNecpgIL
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) November 7, 2019
Then in the Golden State Warriors’ 129-112 loss to the Houston Rockets, Cauley-Stein was also called for a flagrant foul for landing under the feet of James Harden.
Willie Cauley-Stein was also given a flagrant for this tonight, this is the Zaza rule pic.twitter.com/tI4Sfa91oD
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) November 7, 2019
The rule was created and implemented in September 2017 for the purpose of encouraging player safety. It was informally named the “Zaza Rule” because Pachulia had injured Kawhi Leonard in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals that year with a similar move.
When the rule was implemented, officials were given the ability to call fouls for such plays. They could then upgrade to flagrant fouls or technicals depending on whether they viewed the moves as intentional. On Wednesday, the officials immediately called flagrant fouls. It seems the league and refs are trying to make a point about these plays.
The Trill movement is coming to the Golden State Warriors.
Willie Cauley-Stein is joining the Warriors, The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson first reported. ESPN’s Zach Lowe says he will sign for something slightly above the minimum salary.
Can confirm. Cauley-Stein will sign for something slightly above the minimum salary, a source says. https://t.co/acJryQ5lik
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 2, 2019
Getting him for just over the minimum is a steal. The Warriors are facing a hard cap this year due to their sign-and-trade involving D’Angelo Russell and Kevin Durant and need to fill out their roster with minimum signings to stay below the tax apron. Cauley-Stein is helping them do so.
Cauley-Stein’s representatives recently stated their desire for the big man to be set free by Sacramento. The Kings originally extended a qualifying offer to Cauley-Stein, making the 2015 lottery pick a restricted free agent. However, they later rescinded the offer after signing Dewayne Dedmon and Cory Joseph, making Cauley-Stein an unrestricted free agent.
Cauley-Stein, 25, averaged 11.9 points and 8.4 rebounds a game for the Kings last season. He should have an opportunity to seize plenty of playing time with the Dubs next season.
After four seasons together, Willie Cauley-Stein and the Sacramento Kings appear to be headed for divorce court.
Cauley-Stein’s agent Roger Montgomery of Roc Nation Sports said on Saturday that the big man wants out of Sacramento.
“I really think Willie needs a fresh start,” said Montgomery, according to Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee. “Based on how things have gone for him there in Sacramento, I just think it’s time for Willie to move on and we’d really like him to move on.
“We’ve kind of hoped things would change over the years and Willie would get a chance to expand his game, get a chance for some consistency there in terms of the roster turnover and the coaching turnover and the things that have not been steady there,” he added. “That being said, I’m hopeful they will not even give Willie his qualifying offer so Willie can be an unrestricted free agent.”
Cauley-Stein, 25, averaged 11.9 points and 8.4 rebounds a game for the Kings last season. When the team drafted him No. 6 overall back in 2015, he had high expectations as an athletic rim runner on offense and a multipositional padlock on defense. But Cauley-Stein’s stock has cratered in recent years due to effort concerns and a general lack of improvement as a player.
The former Kentucky star is due for restricted free agency this summer, but as Montgomery hinted at, can become unrestricted if the Kings do not extend a qualifying offer. The team has other pressing offseason matters to attend to, and a split between the two sides would free up minutes in the frontcourt for the likes of Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles while also giving Cauley-Stein the opportunity to seek a bigger role elsewhere.
Andre Iguodala’s numbers are down across the board, Lou Williams will presumably be starting for the rest of the season with Patrick Beverley out of commission, and Jamal Crawford has probably run out of legacy votes. As such, we should be getting a lot of new blood in the race to win Sixth Man of the Year this season. Here are some challengers to float your banana boat.
*Stats courtesy of NBA.com and ESPN*
Willie Cauley-Stein, PF/C, Sacramento Kings
The Kings’ bench is incinerating opponents with a league-leading 49.1 points per game this season. The effort is being spearheaded by Cauley-Stein, who has been a whirling speed demon on both ends of the court. Trillie, as he is better known colloquially, offers double-double upside nearly every night and has the speed, length, and bounce to pester both backcourt and frontcourt players on defense as well. Now that Sacramento appears to have settled on starting Zach Randolph and Skal Labissiere down low, we should be in for many more months of Cauley-Stein raising the roof as first man off the bench.
Jordan Clarkson, PG/SG, Los Angeles Lakers