Dallas Mavericks rookie center ready to make big impact in first year

2023 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot
2023 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

Tons of uncertainty from Dallas Mavericks fans went into the 2023 NBA Draft night.

Fans didn't know which direction Dallas was going to go in, and who they would be selecting with the No. 10 overall pick.

It seemed like the fan-favorite players for fans were Taylor Hendricks, Anthony Black, and Dereck Lively II, but no one knew who would fall to the 10th pick.

Little did Mavs fans know that Dallas would be walking away from draft night with three new rotation players.

The first move came when Dallas traded down from pick 10 to pick 12 and selected Lively II from Duke. Lively II was a late riser throughout the draft process, and there was a chance that he got drafted before Dallas even got on the clock.

Lively II said that he thought the Orlando Magic were a team that could have taken him, but they ended up passing on him twice, and he landed right in Dallas' lap.

Lively II was recently on Duke Basketball's podcast, "The Brotherhood Podcast," and talked about how he felt on draft night and where he wanted to end up.

"I was actually kind of hoping I was going to go to Dallas. Whenever I got picked at 12 and said I was getting traded to 10 for the Dallas Mavericks, I was just ecstatic. I couldn't believe the position I was in."

Dereck Lively II

Lively II said he didn't even know what round he was going to get drafted in. He just did his best in interviews and on-court workouts and let his game do the talking.

Through a strong pre-draft process, which included Lively II drilling 14 straight 3-pointers in his pro day, his stock rose. It was almost a given that Lively II was going to go in the lottery, and it seemed like he and Dallas were a perfect match.

"I wanted to go to Dallas overall. I thought I could make the biggest amount of an impact at Dallas."

Dereck Lively II

Dallas obviously needed a rim protector, and Lively II knew that. He seems eager to get out there and play for the Mavs, and fans can't wait to see how he fits next to Luka Doncic.

Lively II will give the Mavs someone who can switch on defense, alter all shots in the paint, and rebound at a high level. He brings everything that the Mavs need in a center, and it will be interesting to see how he fits in from day one.

We'll have you covered with all the latest news surrounding Dereck Livley II and the Dallas Mavericks this season, so stay tuned.