Willie Cauley-Stein returns to Mavs on 2-year, $8.2 million deal
The Mavs got reinforcements: Center Willie Cauley-Stein has agreed to return to the Mavericks on a two-year deal, valued at $8.2 million, per The Athletics’ Shams Charania.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 22, 2020
By opting out of his current contract, and agreeing to new terms with the Mavs, the center is provided not only an added year of security, but an increase in salary from his reported option of $2.3 million.
Having joined the Mavs last January in a trade that sent a second-round draft pick to the Golden State Warriors, Cauley-Stein has primarily served as a defensive specialist. Paired most often with Kristaps Porzingis, the center served to spare the fellow big man from the rigors of being the primary rim defender.
While his offensive game is generally limited, Cauley-Stein has seen his playing time improve with the Mavs, as he has developed chemistry with point guard Luka Doncic, serving as a roll man to the basket in sets between the two.
While a reunion was not guaranteed between the two camps when the center originally opted out of his deal, only a few short days ago, the Mavs’ inability to gain traction in negotiations with other interior players on the market was a primary driver of the deal.
With Raptors center Marc Gasol having been rumored to be a target, recent reports indicating that the former all star had “narrowed” his focus to a return to Toronto, or a potential deal with Los Angeles, would seem to indicate the Mavs are no longer under consideration.