NBA teams compare Dallas Mavericks' dream target in draft to 2011 NBA Champion

North Carolina v Duke
North Carolina v Duke / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

The 2023 NBA Draft is on Thursday night, and the Dallas Mavericks hold the No. 10 pick.

There are rumors that Dallas will probably trade down, but if the right opportunity presents itself, they could stay at pick 10. The Mavs are keeping their plans for draft night a secret, and fans could be in for a crazy night depending on what they decide to do.

Regardless, the Mavericks will have at least one new player on their team by the end of Thursday night. It will be through the draft or a trade, or both.

If they don't trade down, they could decide to bolster their frontcourt. They need defense and rebounding, and there's one prospect that checks both boxes. He also just got compared to one of the best Maverick bigs ever.

"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

Stein reported this on Monday afternoon (subscription required), and it should sell Mavs fans on the big man from Duke, Dereck Lively II. He is the second-best center in the draft and will likely be the favorite for Dallas to select if they don't trade the pick.

Lively II averaged 5.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game as a freshman at Duke. The 7'1 big wasn't much of a scorer in college, but a video from his pro day showcasing his shooting ability could have more teams chasing him than expected. In that video, he drained 14 corner threes in a row.

He hardly shot any threes at Duke, and this video could make teams believe in his potential much more.

Stein's comparison of Lively II to Tyson Chandler matters because Chandler was one of the best centers in Mavericks' history. He was on the Mavs' 2011 NBA Finals team and anchored their defense. He was an outstanding rebounder, shot blocker, and vocal leader for that team.

If Lively II could be anything close to what Chandler was for Dallas, the Mavs would be ecstatic and have their center of the future.

Stay tuned to see what the Mavericks decide to do in the draft on Thursday and if they take Lively II.