Dallas Mavericks successfully implementing a low-risk high-reward strategy

Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports /

Homerun swings inevitably come with high strikeout rates. Swinging for singles unavoidably produces few homeruns. Risk is usually packaged with reward making many decisions a pick-your-poison endeavor. Somehow the Dallas Mavericks avoided the whole issue.

The Dallas Mavericks were backed up against a wall on draft night. They had a dozen things to accomplish and only one pick to get it done. What they did was a master class in maximizing resources and achieving the elusive goal of drafting a low-risk high-reward prospect.

The Dallas Mavericks drafted for the short-term and the long term in a rare low risk high reward pick of Dereck Lively II.

As much as people hated to hear it, the Dallas Mavericks needed to dump a contract. They had too many underperforming players on the books to build much of anything, so they needed to get at least one of their ugly contracts off the books.

Trading back was the best way to accomplish such a task but since they also needed contribute-now players, they couldn’t afford to drop too far back. The Mavs were targeting Duke center Dereck Lively but knew they couldn’t fall back very far or they’d miss out. As we all know, Dallas only dropped back two spots, they dumped their ugliest contract in Davis Bertans, and they got their man Lively. It was a huge win.

The 7-foot-1 Lively is a rare breed. He’s both a low-risk short-term solution and he’s a high-reward long-term answer. Once the top high school recruit, Lively comes with a tremendous ceiling. His length, instincts and athleticism are top-shelf and the sky is the limit on his progression.

He’s also fairly raw and coming off an injury-filled season that by all accounts was disappointing. Lively didn’t explode at Duke like many thought, but he didn’t cool his potential either. Everything was linked to health and as he got into the action, he showed everyone why he was so well regarded.

Lively comes as a defensive presence on Day 1. He’s an elite rim protector who has good feet and can be an immediate asset as a defender. If all else fails and he inexplicably can’t develop, he’s still a useful piece.

But if he progresses like many think he will, he has a chance to be something special. He’s already a capable rim roller and his pre-draft workout shows his outside shooting ability may not be as raw as once thought.

Livley is the best of both worlds. He’s a safe pick that already paid off in some regard since the Mavs were able to dump Bertans contract. At the very least he’s a rotational player who’s a plus defender.

At the same time he’s still a potential homerun. If he develops, he’s an All-Star. The ceiling is that high.

Next. The Mavs accomplished so much on draft day. dark

There’s no telling what the future holds but Dereck Lively gives the Dallas Mavericks the best of both worlds and set them on a path for success this summer.

  • Published on 06/26/2023 at 16:01 PM
  • Last updated at 06/26/2023 at 16:01 PM