5 Players drafted ahead of Mavs rookie Dereck Lively II that he's already outplayed

Nov 19, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II
Nov 19, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Anthony Black

Original Draft Position: 6th

The former Razorback was an easy selection to make in the NBA Draft. Although not the most surefire NBA prospect, Anthony Black possesses the ideal mix of size and playmaking in today's league.

The 6-foot-7 guard averaged 3.9 assists and 2.1 steals per game during his time in Fayetteville. Looking for the next big lead-guard, the Magic swooped in to draft Black with the first of their multiple first-round draft choices.

Orlando picked Black instead of filling other voids. Already set in the backcourt with multiple below-average shooters, Markelle Fultz and Jalen Suggs, the Magic decided the Arkansas guard was the best player available.

While Black possesses an exceptional skillset, his shooting woes make him a difficult fit in the Magic lineup. As mentioned on the first slide, the Magic struggled to shoot the three-ball a year ago. Orlando even reached with their second first-rounder to select the aforementioned Jett Howard.

Shooting and a need at guard topped the Magic's wish list. After four guards were drafted from picks two through five, Orlando opted to choose the former Razorback with the sixth selection.

Trading down may have better suited the Magic, but a 12-5 record speaks for itself. The young guard has been a nominal contributor thus far, only averaging 4.6 points, 1.3 assists, and 0.3 steals per game in 18.3 minutes of action.

He has yet to display his offensive and defensive playmaking. Selecting Dereck Lively II to slot in at the backup center seems like it would have been the better option.