Mavs rookie Dereck Lively II shares intriguing list of teams he thought may draft him

2023 NBA Draft
2023 NBA Draft / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks needed to add rim protection this offseason.

Everyone knew that, including Mavs owner Mark Cuban.

Cuban was on a radio show on the day of the 2023 NBA Draft, and when asked about Dallas' biggest need, he said rim protection.

Mavs rookie Dereck Lively II shares intriguing list of teams he thought may draft him

The Mavs center room from last season was Dwight Powell, JaVale McGee, Christian Wood, and Maxi Kleber. Both Wood and Kleber are more of power forwards than they are centers, but both played center for the Mavs at times.

This is not a great rim-protecting group and Dallas' weak spot had been starting center for some time, so they decided to draft Dereck Lively II with the No. 12 overall pick in the draft. Dallas traded back from pick 10 to 12, and the player that seemed like their main target fell into their laps.

Dallas and Lively II were a match made in heaven, as Lively II is a great defender and lob catcher. He will also bring much-needed energy and communication to both ends of the floor and deter any shot in the paint.

Lively II uses his massive 7-foot-7 wingspan to disrupt everything in the paint and showcased his ability to block shots at the NBA Summer League.

Lively II was recently on Duke Basketball's "The Brotherhood Podcast" and talked about everything from getting drafted to playing at Duke. He also shared some intriguing intel regarding some of the teams that he thought were going to take him in the draft.

Although Lively II "wanted to go to Dallas" some of the teams that he listed he thought could have selected him were the Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Magic had the No. 6 and 11 overall picks, but they ended up selecting Anthony Black and Jett Howard. The Thunder originally had the No. 12 pick but traded up with Dallas to select Cason Wallace, and the Pelicans held the No. 14 pick and selected Jordan Hawkins.

The Pelicans never had a chance to take Lively II since he got drafted with the 12th pick, but Mavs fans are likely happy that both the Thunder and Magic passed on him.

Lively II will have the chance to fight for that starting center spot in Dallas as a rookie, and we'll have you covered with content as he embarks on his rookie year in the NBA.