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What’s next for Willie Cauley-Stein?

Will the Mavericks’ center test the market?

New Orleans Pelicans v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Season in Review

Acquired just four days after Dwight Powell ruptured his Achilles heel, Willie Cauley-Stein’s season in Dallas was over in a flash. Cauley-Stein put on a Mavericks’ jersey just 13 times and played only 157 minutes total. That’s an average of only 12.1 minutes per game, by far the lowest of his career. Despite the small amount of minutes, he played his role well. During his time with Dallas he averaged 5.2 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game and 0.8 blocks per game.

Best Game

Cauley-Stein had a dominant performance against the Charlotte Hornets in early February. He scored 15 points, making all seven of his shots. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and had two blocks to go along with his point total. This was his only game in double-digits as a Maverick.

Contact Status

Cauley-Stein has a pending player option for next season worth $2,286,357.

Looking Ahead

The NBA will eventually take a hit to it’s cap space due to loss of revenue caused by COVID-19. This will cause many players to opt into their player options so that they don’t have to enter free agency and perhaps take a pay cut.

Cauley-Stein is one of the few players that I believe will opt out of their contracts and test the market. If Powell comes back reasonably healthy, that likely pushes Cauley-Stein to the back of the big-man depth chart. He already put up the lowest minutes per game average of his career and that was with Powell out. If he wants a bigger role, I think that will have to be somewhere other than Dallas. If he sticks around, the Mavericks have a reliable rim-running center coming off the bench.