Dereck Lively II was selected with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2023 NBA draft. The Dallas Mavericks traded with the Oklahoma City Thunder, sending the No. 10 pick and Davis Bertans to the Thunder in exchange for the No. 12 overall pick.
Many would argue that the most prominent position of need heading into the 2023 offseason was to acquire a shot-blocking and rim-running center to pair next to Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.
The Mavericks did exactly this with the addition of Lively II.
Will Mavericks' first-round pick Dereck Lively II spend time in the G League?
Lively II showed plenty of promise throughout his 2023 NBA Summer League campaign, whether it was annihilating shots into the third row or hammering down dunks off alley-oop passes.
He would also continuously show his ability to be a significant switchable defender in pick-and-roll scenarios, showing his potential as the weakside shot blocker. These are all needed attributes for a player who is poised to become one of the NBA's best defenders down the road.
However, Mavs fans were ultimately shown some of Lively II's shortcomings on the offensive end, and it was clear he would need time to develop his game before he could become an intricate part of the Dallas Mavericks' rotation. The starting center spot will likely be his in a few seasons, but he may need some time to polish his game in the G League.
This would allow him to have guaranteed minutes and develop quicker rather than having a limited role on the Mavericks' bench.
Throughout today's NBA, it has become a common sight to see some of the league's best standout rookie prospects spend time developing their game in the G League. Dallas's own Jaden Hardy spent plenty of time in the G League, and he was a solid rotation piece by the end of the season.
This could be a similar path for Lively II.
With Lively II's time spent on the Texas Legends, we could see him develop his offensive game in areas we otherwise wouldn't get to see in the NBA without some growing pains.
With this in mind, Mavs fans shouldn't anticipate the bulk of Lively II's rookie campaign spent buried in the G League. Similar to what we saw in Hardy's rookie season, we could look forward to an eventual return to the Mavericks' active rotation.
With valuable time spent in the G League, we could then expect to see Lively II's full presence felt within the Mavericks' center rotation later in the regular season and then for a hopeful postseason run.
We'll have you covered with all the news surrounding the Dallas Mavericks and Dereck Lively II this summer, so stay tuned.