The Golden State Warriors have reportedly traded center Willie Cauley-Stein to the Dallas Mavericks. We break down the trade and give each team a letter grade.
The second NBA trade in NorCal is officially complete. The Golden State Warriors have reportedly traded center Willie Cauley-Stein to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for a second-round draft pick (via Utah).
The Cauley-Stein deal appears to be one of the rarest things in the world of NBA transactions — a truly even move. The trade fills obvious needs for each team.
Here’s how the Mavericks and Warriors grade for their specific improvements.
Golden State Warriors: B+
This move’s benefit for Golden State goes beyond the basketball court. Shedding Cauley-Stein’s contract will allow the team to drop $2.57 million under the hard cap.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks has also reported that the move will also allow the Warriors to save $5.66 million toward the luxury tax.
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The emergence of young centers Omari Spellman and Marquese Chriss made Cauley-Stein expendable. The Warriors were able to land a second-round pick, while simultaneously opening playing time to develop their younger talent.
Golden State’s two free roster spots also give the team a great deal of flexibility. General manager Bob Myers now has the option to convert the two-way contracts of Chriss and Ky Bowman into full deals.
Additionally, the team could elect to shed additional money in an effort to move below the luxury tax line. NBC Sports’ Drew Shiller has reported that this transaction would allow Golden State to avoid the “repeater tax” in 2020 and 2021.
Dallas Mavericks: A-
The Mavericks were in desperate need of a starting-caliber center in the wake of Dwight Powell’s season-ending Achilles tear. While Dallas was also able to make a supplementary deal for Justin Patton, they still had an obvious weakness in the frontcourt.
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At first glance, Cauley-Stein is the perfect player to solve this issue. The former sixth-overall pick has the skillet to make an immediate impact in Dallas.
An early-season foot sprain kept the former Kentucky Wildcats star from being able to gain any traction during his brief tenure in Golden State.
However, the 7-footer’s size and athleticism should be a great fit alongside the precision passing of MVP candidate Luka Doncic.
Cauley-Stein likely assumed (like many) that he would spend the 2020 season catching lobs from Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. A fresh start in Dallas will be a great opportunity for the rim-running center to make his presence known.
While the loss of Powell was devastating, Cauley-Stein should prove to be a very capable replacement.
Powell has career averages of 7.7 points and 4.6 rebounds on 56.3 percent shooting. Willie Cauley-Stein, on the other hand, has recorded 9.8 points and 6.4 rebounds on 53.6 percent shooting.
This is a fantastic pickup for the low price of a second-round pick.