Dubs vs Pacers Gamethread: Willie Cauley-Stein got traded to Dallas?

Mere hours before the struggling, injury wracked Golden State Warriors saddle up to face a surging Indiana Pacers team in Chase Center, starting center Willie Cauley-Stein was traded to the Dallas Mavericks.

Whoa. This was kind of a shocker, and yet, in the grim business sense of the game, very understandable.

It was kinda surprising because: Warrior’s head coach Steve Kerr had just explained to our very own super reporter PoorMansCommish how Golden State’s surplus of big men prospects had relegated intriguing rookie Alen Smailagic to limited minutes. I presumed that meant Cauley-Stein was going to continue as a mainstay in the starting lineup considering he had started 37 of 41 contests. He averaged 7.9 points and 6.7 rebounds in 22.9 minutes and was good for at least for at least one highlight alley-oop or block per game.

On a limping team like this, any entertainment at all was at a premium, and Cauley-Stein definitely got the crowd hyped a few times.

And y’all already know how I feel about Dallas.

It was kinda not surprising because: The Warriors pride themselves on “light-years” moves. The big man rotation needed some clearing and Cauley-Stein had proved himself a useful enough piece that a dark-horse contender like the Mavs would eventually come sniffing around for a deal. The former 2015 #6 overall pick hadn’t dominated for Golden State, and sometimes seemed a step behind the action. He also demonstrated spurts of impressive athleticism after recovering from a debilitating early season foot injury.

Kinda hit or miss at times.

The Dubs’ front office now has more roster flexibility as they continue gathering assets for the Splash Era resurrection.

Dub Nation spent the year rooting for Cauley-Stein to provide a spark on both offense and defense, and on some of his better nights “Trillie” was up to the task, like that time he was the only man Damian Lillard couldn’t score on.

It will be fascinating watching Warriors’ big man rotation tonight as they tangle with the feisty Indiana front court pair of Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis.

As always…Let’s Go Warriors!


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