3. Drafting Dereck Lively II and trading away Davis Bertans
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was asked what Dallas' biggest need was this offseason just a few hours before the draft. His response was "a center that can protect the rim."
Dallas hadn't had a true center that could protect the rim in many years, but draft night changed that as they made a move to trade back two spots and draft their center of the future.
Dallas traded the draft rights to Cason Wallace and Davis Bertans for the draft rights to Dereck Lively II and a traded player exception. In better terms, Dallas traded back two spots and dumped Bertans to draft Lively II and gain a traded player exception.
This move was massive for Dallas as they finally landed a rim protector and did so while dumping an awful contract. Lively II has already shown his ability to protect the rim (in Summer League) and seems like he'll fit great next to Luka Doncic.
He disrupts everything in the paint and is a great communicator on defense. Lively II is also a great help-side shot blocker and has good defensive instincts.
Dallas later used the traded player exception gained from this trade to trade back into the draft and take a player who could make an immediate impact on this team. They also gained a center that has the chance to start.