2023 NBA Mock Draft: Mavericks land defensive stopper, Warriors add another shooter

Metropolitans 92 v LDLC Asvel - Betclic Elite
Metropolitans 92 v LDLC Asvel - Betclic Elite / Aurelien Meunier/GettyImages
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14. New Orleans Pelicans take Dereck Lively II

No one knows exactly what is going to happen with the New Orleans Pelicans on draft night, but it seems like this pick could be getting traded.

They reportedly want to trade up to grab Scoot Henderson, but if they stay at pick 14, I have them drafting Dereck Lively II from Duke.

69. lively. Dereck Lively II. 7'1", C, Duke. . 14. . . .

The 7'1 center averaged 5.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game as a freshman. His offensive game was limited to him being a rim runner and lob threat while at Duke, but his jump shot looks to be coming along. Lively II drained 14 threes in a row at his pro day and is proving that he can shoot a little bit.

Lively II would fit in New Orleans because they need a rim protector. Not a single player averaged over 0.7 blocks per game last season, and their backup center spot is in question as well. He would be able to contribute off the bench and potentially take Jonas Valanciunas' spot in the starting lineup once his contract expires.

Lively II is also a great lob catcher at the center position, and New Orleans needs that. Having two lob catchers in the frontcourt in Zion Williamson and Lively II would be fun to watch as defenses would have to always keep an eye on them.

Lively II also has great length and would anchor the Pelicans' defense.