The 2023 NBA Draft is hours away, and the rumors are already starting to fly.
Everyone is speculating if the Charlotte Hornets will draft Brandon Miller or Scoot Henderson and if the Portland Trailblazers will trade their No. 3 pick. The NBA is likely in for a crazy night, as it seems there will be multiple trades on draft night.
Another possible trade could include the Dallas Mavericks. It's looking like they'll trade back later in the first round and gain a veteran asset. The clock is ticking for Dallas to build a good team around Luka Doncic, and they have to nail the draft tonight.
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One player that would fit great in Dallas is Dereck Lively II.
The 7'1 big man played one season at Duke and averaged 5.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. He is a defensive-minded center that would anchor the Mavericks' defense.
And there is mutual interest there.
Lively II spoke with the media on Wednesday, and one reporter, Brandon "Scoop B" Robinson, asked him what he thinks of Dallas.
"I love Dallas. I feel like whenever I worked out for Dallas it was a great environment, it was a great overall community, they were welcoming, and I feel like they loved my energy. "- Dereck Lively II
Lively II later said he showed them hard work, and Dallas seemed to love what he brings as a player. He also talked about setting screens for Luka and Kyrie Irving and how they would open up the game for each other.
He has also already been compared to one of the best bigs in Mavericks' history (subscription required).
"Multiple teams have shared in recent days that Duke's Dereck Lively II has true Tyson Chandler potential. That helps explain why Lively, more and more, is being projected as a top-10 pick."- Marc Stein
The Mavs and their fans would be thrilled if they land Lively II. Tyson Chandler was a fan favorite for the two seasons he played in Dallas, and they wouldn't have won the 2011 NBA Finals without him. Just like Lively II has the potential to do, he anchored the defense, caught lobs, and brought great energy.
The mutual interest between Dallas and Lively II is obvious, but now we have to wait and see what Dallas does. Lively II will likely be there at pick No. 10, but if Dallas trades back they could risk having the chance to take him. A dream scenario for the Mavs would be moving back and still being able to take Lively II, but that may be a pipe dream at this point.
Stay tuned to see what the Mavs do with the 10th overall pick and if Lively II could be coming to Dallas.