Dereck Lively II should take priority over recent Mavericks trade rumors

As rumors swirl of the Dallas Mavericks' interest in trading for a center, their real focus should be on rookie Dereck Lively II.
Dallas Mavericks, Dereck Lively II, NBA Trade Rumors
Dallas Mavericks, Dereck Lively II, NBA Trade Rumors / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks entered this summer with big goals. After missing out on the postseason entirely this past season, they knew that major changes were needed if they wanted to compete with Luaka Doncic at the helm.

And luckily for Doncic and the future of the franchise, Dallas put together a quality summer littered with necessary roster adjustments that should better the team moving forward.

The Mavericks drafted Dereck Lively II and Olivier-Maxence Prosper, traded for Richaun Holmes and Grant Williams, and signed Seth Curry and Dante Exum. Plus, they re-signed Kyrie Irving to a new contract.

Dallas is now in a much better position heading into next year, but there have been some rumblings that they could be looking to trade for another center, with names like Clint Capela and Deandre Ayton popping up in rumors.

But could a trade like that hurt them more than it helps them?

Dereck Lively II should take priority over recent Mavericks trade rumors

Capela and Ayton are solid players, and they would probably improve the team’s ceiling next year, but would it be smarter for the Mavericks to prepare to roll with Lively as their plan at the five?

All throughout Summer League, the rookie big man out of Duke proved staunch on the defensive side of the ball, and while his offensive game is still raw, he showed some solid flashes.

At just 19 years old, he has plenty of room to grow, and Jason Kidd may not feel comfortable throwing a rookie into the fire right off the bat. But that’s where Richaun Holmes and Dwight Powell come in.

Rather than trading picks and players for another center, running with Holmes and Powell to start the year, paving the way for Lively, should be Dallas’ main priority.

Not only is Lively younger and on a cost-controlled contract but giving him a clear pathway to the starting spot could do wonders for his development, which would benefit the Mavericks now and in the future.

Dallas was almost certainly fielding offers for the 10th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, but instead of trading out of the event entirely, they decided to trade back just two spots and select a rookie, Lively, in the lottery.

He was a guy that many people speculated the Mavericks were interested in, and now that they got him, ensuring that he reaches his full potential should be a top priority for the organization.

Not only will it help Lively, but it coule end up being what’s best for Doncic and his hopes of winning a championship with the Mavericks.

Trading for another big man could help the Mavericks a little bit this year, but Lively looks like an NBA player already.

Unless they are getting an All-Star-caliber center, trading for another big man would not only be a bad move for Dallas, but a disservice to Lively.