The Mavericks are hoping Lively can fix their defensive issues
The Dallas Mavericks selected Duke center Derek Lively with the 12th pick in the 2023 NBA draft, and traded the 10th pick and Davis Bertans to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Mavericks got rid of Bertans’ salary and the Thunder managed to go up two runs.
The Mavericks then selected Lively, although Cam Whitmore remained on the draft board. Whitmore was initially expected to be a top-five selection, but he may have been let down by his doctors not examining him.
On the other hand, vitality has enjoyed a meteoric rise. It provides edge protection and bounce while not getting lost in the ocean. There is certainly potential for more deals, but for now, the Mavericks have opted for a future edge protector.
Whitmore could have been a more exciting selection, but there’s a reason he’s been passed around by so many teams. Lively has legitimate skills that could help mavericks, but it’s part of a project.
Live averaged 5.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game last season for Duke. He also provided more than just one assist per game. Vitality was an impressive painter, averaging 72 percent on two-point field goals. He’ll have to learn some discipline on defense, as the young center averaged eight errors per 100 possessions in college. If the Mavericks still have Tyson Chandler in the building, they should connect the two immediately.
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