4. Dereck Lively II
The Dallas Mavericks have surprised the whole NBA with their 6-1 start. A massive reason for their success can be attributed to the No. 12 overall pick, Dereck Lively II.
Lively II has played a massive role for the Mavericks. An anchor at the five spot was always missing during the Luka era in Dallas, and the team has finally found one.
Since the jump, Lively II has gotten off to a great start in his professional career. The young center dazzled in his first professional appearance against fellow rookie Victor Wembanyama, putting up a massive double-double to help the Mavericks beat the San Antonio Spurs.
Fans have already seen flashes of what will soon be Dallas' franchise center. With multiple masterclass performances against great competition, Lively II has captured the hearts of many Mavs fans.
Offensively, the young center has shined alongside Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving in the pick and roll and has even flashed some post-creation skills when stuck one-on-one with a defender. His flashy rolls have already proved costly for opposing defenders, and some have already gotten thrown on highlight reels.
On the other side of the ball, Lively II has become a major contributor to the team. Averaging a block per game, Lively II has already turned down many attempts at the rim.
For fans, it's clear to see the tremendous upside of Lively II just seven games into the season. As the Mavericks prepare for the remainder of the regular season, it will be important that Lively II continues to develop into the generational center the team needs him to be.