Cauley-Stein Opting Out Of Restart; Mavs Sign Burke

JULY 1, 12:53pm: Burke has officially signed a contract, according to his Twitter feed.

JUNE 25, 12:32pm: Mavericks center Willie Cauley-Stein has opted to sit out of the NBA’s restart this summer, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who notes (via Twitter) that Cauley-Stein and his partner are expecting a newborn child in July.

Free agent guard Trey Burke has agreed to a rest-of-season deal with Dallas and will take Cauley-Stein’s place on the summer roster, per Charania (via Twitter). Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link) first reported that the Mavs had interest in signing Burke.

Burke, 27, was waived by the Sixers at this year’s trade deadline when Philadelphia needed a roster spot to accommodate incoming additions Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks. Up until that point, the former lottery pick had been a solid offensive option off the bench for the 76ers, averaging 5.9 PPG and 2.1 APG on .465/.421/.722 shooting in 25 games (13.2 MPG).

Burke has some history with the Mavericks, having spent a portion of the 2018/19 season in Dallas after being traded by the Knicks. He recorded 9.7 PPG and 2.6 APG in 25 games (17.4 MPG) for the Mavs last season, and will help replace injured guard Jalen Brunson in the team’s backcourt this season. He’ll get a minimum-salary, rest-of-season deal and will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

The Mavericks have a full 15-man roster and weren’t eligible to add a substitute player to replace any of their injured players (Dwight Powell, Courtney Lee, and Brunson). However, they don’t need an open roster spot to sign a replacement for a player who is voluntarily opting out, such as Cauley-Stein.

Cauley-Stein, who holds a $2.29MM player option for 2020/21, won’t be fined or suspended for deciding not to participate in the summer restart. However, he’ll forfeit some ’19/20 pay for sitting out, giving up 1/92.6th of his salary for each Mavs game he misses, up to a maximum of 14 contests. Cauley-Stein is the fourth player known to be opting out of the NBA’s return, joining Avery Bradley, Trevor Ariza, and Davis Bertans.

If the Mavericks want to make another addition to their roster to help fill the holes created by injuries, waiving Lee – who is on an expiring contract – would be an option. However, Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News tweeted earlier this week that the Mavs aren’t eager to release Lee, since they value his locker room impact and would like to have him in Orlando this summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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20 thoughts on “Cauley-Stein Opting Out Of Restart; Mavs Sign Burke

  1. hard to believe but some fans bash players for opting out. Its one thing if they opt out now so the team can easily replace them. If they waited until the last minute to do it I understand.

    • mcmillankmm

      Although the sooner the better to make the announcements….players are getting snatched up quickly.

  2. ervin_magic_johnson

    If there ever was a lottery bust who clearly cared about his paycheck over winning, it’s ‘Willie Trill Cauley-Stein’

    • Sirsleepit

      How so? Seeing as he won’t get paid for the rest of the season for opting out..

      • ervin_magic_johnson

        He’s been in the league for 5+ years and peaked at 12/8 on a contract year expecting to be paid. Are you defending his underachieving career?

        • He actually signed with Warriors for less money than he was offered else where. So it wasn’t about the paycheck.

        • hiflew

          I don’t even know if I would call him underachieving. Just because he was drafted highly doesn’t really mean anything. His stats are pretty much consistent in the NBA with what they were at Kentucky. He has always shown what he is as a player. If anyone underachieved here, it would be the Kings scouting department.

    • He is literally forfeiting salary to stay at home, and has taken less money to join the best team in the league previously. You’d be right, if you weren’t completely wrong.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        WCS did take less money, but he didn’t join the best team in the league.

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Willie could or should be a top center. His length n athleticism. Can easily be a rebounding rim protector. Always thought he was headed that way. But it seems all three teams have given up on him. Some people just don’t want to be ballers. Just want to get paid like one. The guy is still young too, shame.

    • Howie415

      Being tall doesn’t make you a good center. Lots of players have athleticism. Doesn’t make them standouts in any sport.

  4. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Dallas won’t have much depth once play resumes. Doncic, KP, Hardaway, DFS, Curry, Kleber, and Wright will get most of the minutes with Barea and Jackson filling out the rest of the rotation, plus Burke if they decide to go 10-deep. Their only other healthy players are Boban and MKG.

  5. El Don

    Sad thing for WCS is that Dallas won’t even miss him, that tells you how little & bad he played for them. Fans won’t miss him neither!

    • wagner13

      You’re out of control. If a man wants to witness the birth of his child (a potentially once in a lifetime opportunity), that’s well within his right. The world doesn’t cater to your NBA viewing experience

  6. Jeff Zanghi

    I find it surprising that guys like Burke aren’t already under contract somewhere. Like the amount of guys who sign and are really only bench fillers who average a couple minutes a game and a handful of points are on teams and Burke who’s a very capable NBA player – who can average 12+ PPG with decent assists numbers and a pretty solid 3Pt shot gets released. Idk I guess it’s just how the game works but to me it seems weird that this guy doesn’t have a “home” on a team where he’s consistently playing 15-20+ minutes a night given how well he has preformed even since his rookie year when he averaged 12.8 PPG.

  7. Sillivan

    Next year Mavs will be the deepest team
    salary is under the cap
    Use 10 mil MLE
    Draft S Bey
    Trade Hardaway expiring contract to take salary

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