The Dallas Mavericks made a splash Thursday night when they trade the 10th overall pick of Cason Wallace and veteran Davis Bertans to the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 12th pick of Dereck Lively II.
Going into the draft, General Manager Nico Harrison spoke about the importance of the draft and Dallas emphasis on defense and rebounding.
Last season the team’s main focus was rebounding and rim protection. The team thought they filled those needs with the additions of Christian Wood and JaVale McGee. However after just one season it seems as though Dallas is ready to move from those experiments. Wood is to hit free agency, where as McGee is constantly brought up in trade rumors.
But with Lively up next, the team just hopes they found their guy down low.
So who is Lively? What can he bring to the Mavericks and what sort of impact can fans expect?
Last season for Duke, Lively averaged 5.2 points,5.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. While his stats may not be eye opening, his presence down low is something that should not be questioned. For the Blue Devils he tallied 82 blocks, five shot of the team’s freshman record. on top of that he shot 65.8 percent, Duke’s second best field goal percentage last season.
In the final two games for the Blue Devils he averaged 11.5 rebounds and four blocks in just under 32.5 minutes. His best game of the season came against North Carolina on February 4th where he poured in 14 rebounds and eight blocks, while shooting 66.7 percent.
In his only season with the team he was selected to the ACC All-Defensive Team and to the ACC All-Freshman Team.
At 7’1 he has all the intangibles to take his game to the next level. Due to his size and mobility, he is an excellent rim protector who can control the paint and chase down the ball down low. Some strengths include his size, speed, and durability.
When speaking about the selection of Lively, former Mavericks player Michael Finley compared the draftee to a young Tyson Chandler.
If Lively does hope to excel at the next level he will have to work on his frame and offensive production. Right now, the young center comes in at 234 pounds. The average weight for NBA centers is 251.3 pounds. Adding weight would help him build his frame to compete with other big man, while also allowing Lively to body players down low.
Another area of concern would have to be his offense game. While he has a high shooting percentage, it is do to the limited shots he attempts. A good chunk of his points come from lobs or punk back dunks.
Having a young big man to pair with Luka Doncic and hopefully Kyrie Irving could work out well, as Dallas excelled in pick & roll situations with Dwight Powell at the helm.
What about that other trade?
A couple of minutes after the Mavericks drafted Lively, the team traded a trade player exception (TPE) to the Sacramento Kings for 24th overall pick Olivier-Maxence Prosper and Richaun Holmes.
This almost feels like a steal for Dallas, as they added more youth and depth down low.
The 24th pick out of Marquette took a big leap at the NBA combine, as he drew interests from a number of teams. In his final two years at Marquette he developed into a “do it all” guy. In his final season with the team he averaged 12.5 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 51.2 percent from the field.
While he isn’t a high scoring player, he can do a little bit of everything to make his presence known. During his final college game he dropped in 16 points while shooting 42.9 percent from three point range. His skillset resembles that of Dorian Finney-Smith in that he can guard every position and shot the three, while making his presence known on both ends of the court.
As for Holmes, he is an NBA veteran who has been around since 2015. During his first three seasons in the league he struggled to play valuable minutes as he struggled with injuries as he averaged just under 20 minutes a game. It wasn’t until his first two seasons in Sacramento that he began to show promise. During the 2020-2021 season he had a breakout year averaging 14.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and shot 63.7 percent from the court.
Last season with the Kings, he played in just 42 games averaging just over eight minutes a game. Some of his off the court issues include accusations of domestic violence (which he denied) and obtaining custody of his son.
Along with that, Holmes fell out of Coach Mike Brown’s rotation, causing him to lose valuable playing time.
What started off with Dallas owning the number 10 pick turned into the team trading their selection for the draft rights of Dereck Lively, Olivier-Maxence Prosper and veteran Richaun Holmes, all whom fit the needs of a team needing youth and big man presence.
With the offseason underway, let’s just hope the Mavericks offseason is just beginning.
Nico, do your thang!
- Published on 06/24/2023 at 11:01 AM
- Last updated at 06/24/2023 at 11:01 AM