Less than a week after big man Dwight Powell went down with a season-ending Achilles tendon injury, it looks like the Dallas Mavericks might have found someone to replace him. According to new reports, the Golden State Warriors are close to completing a deal that would send center Willie Cauley-Stein to the Mavericks in exchange for a future draft pick.
As cited by NBC Sports Bay Area, both Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Shams Charania of The Athletic took to Twitter on Friday night, with the former reporting that Golden State is “finalizing” the deal to move Cauley-Stein to Dallas. Less than 10 minutes later, Charania offered more information on the rumored transaction, noting that the Mavericks will be giving up the 2020 second-round pick they previously acquired from the Utah Jazz as part of the trade.
A former No. 6 overall draft pick who played his first four NBA seasons for the Sacramento Kings, Cauley-Stein was signed last summer by the Warriors as a free agent, per Basketball-Reference. While he has started 37 out of the 41 games so far this season, the 26-year-old center saw his numbers drop in Golden State, as he currently has averages of 7.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.5 assists. He is, however, averaging a career-high 1.2 blocks per game while still shooting a strong 56 percent from the field.
Shortly before reports of the purported trade first broke, a few players were suggested as potential targets for the Mavericks as they sought to replace the injured Powell. As previously noted by The Inquisitr, Dallas was reportedly considering free-agent center/forward Joakim Noah, a former Defensive Player of the Year winner who had last played for the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2018-19 season. A pair of other big men — Kings reserve Dewayne Dedmon and erstwhile Chinese Basketball Association star Donatas Motiejunas — were also mentioned as possible options.
Dallas makes a move to acquire Willie Cauley-Stein. pic.twitter.com/Wu9CIMSjSR
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 24, 2020
Although the Warriors’ apparent decision to trade Cauley-Stein would free up salary-cap space as they hope to return to dominance in the 2020-21 season, he might not be the only player on the team to find a new home in the next few weeks. According to NBC Sports Bay Area, wing players Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III are also expected to be on the move in the days leading up to the NBA’s February 6 trade deadline.
Going forward, the Warriors, whose 10-37 record puts them at last place in the Western Conference, will likely rely more on a number of big men once Cauley-Stein’s trade to the Mavericks becomes final. NBC Sports Bay Area wrote that Marquese Chriss and Omari Spellman might receive additional minutes at center, while Draymond Green — the team’s erstwhile starting power forward — could also contribute at the “five” spot despite being undersized for the position at 6-feet-7-inches.