Best-case scenario for each of the Mavericks' young talents

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Dallas Mavericks, Dereck Lively II
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3. Dereck Lively II

The Dallas Mavericks traded back two spots in the draft to select Dereck Lively II, and fans should be excited as Dallas could have found their center of the future.

Lively II is your new-school traditional center. Unlike previous decades, where centers were accustomed to scoring in the paint, rebounding at a high level, and protecting the rim, there are now additional requirements.

Other than defending the rim, centers are now tasked with defending guards in space and rotating to contest shots at the rim, as they are typically the last line of defense without a fellow big to rely on. Lively II exemplifies both of these "new school center" requirements.

Lively II is a fantastic athlete at 7-foot-1. He moves his feet like a wing and looks graceful while doing so. He uses his monstrous 7-foot-7 wingspan to deter all kinds of attempts at the rim.

As was mentioned earlier, centers were expected to score in the paint. Now big men are expected to shoot unless they're exceptional roll men who use their athleticism to dunk anything and everything. Lively II does just that.

The former Blue Devil may not have an extensive offensive repertoire, but he is a good rollman who provides guards with a massive target at the rim. It's been well-documented that Lively II only averaged 5.2 points per game in college. The only positive from this is that his role will look the exact same in the NBA.

Most importantly for Lively II, a rim-rolling, defensive anchor is exactly what Dallas has been searching for for years. A player like Lively II is the key to unlocking a team's defensive potential. Just look what the Minnesota Timberwolves gave up to acquire Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz.

Lively II hasn't played in an NBA game, but his defensive potential is obvious. He projects as an above-average defender as soon as he hits the hardwood. And with additional playing time, the big man will surely turn into an elite interior defender.

If Lively II develops any type of offensive game, watch out. A peak projection of 14 points per game doesn't seem out of the question. But Lively II's game will be predicated on his defense.

A best-case scenario for Dereck Lively II would be a Defensive Player of the Year award. The aforementioned Gobert is a three-time DPOY. If Lively II is capable of taking home this honor once, the Mavs would, without question, be thrilled with their new big man.

Best case scenario: Defensive Player of the Year