1 Worst-case, 1 realistic, 1 dream player comparison for Mavericks' Dereck Lively

Dallas Mavericks, Dereck Lively II
Dallas Mavericks, Dereck Lively II / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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Realistic comparison: Mitchell Robinson

Robinson did not play college basketball, despite committing to Western Kentucky. He was projected to go in the top ten coming out of high school, but a full year off made him a mystery man in the 2018 NBA Draft and forced him to slip into the second round.

The seven-footer has a reported 7’4 wingspan and immediately made an impact on the defensive end. After five seasons, Robinson averages 8.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks in 24.4 minutes per game for his career. Fouls have been an issue, and they likely will be for Dereck Lively III early on.

The 19-year-old is an inch taller with a longer wingspan. Can he have the same defensive impact as Robinson in the NBA? That remains to be seen, but there are a lot of similarities. They are listed at similar weights and both have shown strong rim protection chops.

Do not expect Dereck Lively II to be this monster offensive player. He will be a rim-roller and lob target for Luka Doncic. The former Duke big man is looking to develop his jumper, but that will not be part of his game, especially early in his career.

Lively II could be better than Mitch Rob. What should fans expect if he reaches his ceiling?