The Dallas Mavericks had their highest draft pick since 2018 in this year's draft, and they used it to select Duke center Dereck Lively II.
Dallas always seemed like a likely destination for Lively II, as they desperately needed a new center who can protect the rim, and Dallas was able to land him while also trading down in the draft.
It was an extraordinarily successful draft night, and Lively II can hopefully develop into Dallas' starting center of the future. He has all the physical tools and defensive skills to be that for Dallas, and his offensive game has the potential to eventually make him a major threat.
He is already a good offensive rebounder and lob catcher, and there seems to be one more part of his game that fans are going to get to see this season.
Lively II was seen focussing on his touch around the basket with Tyson Chandler during Summer League practice, and he also seems set on letting some 3-pointers fly next season.
Lively II has never been known as a 3-point shooter, as he only made two total shots from downtown during his freshman year at Duke, but that doesn't mean he isn't a good shooter.
Lively II put on a show during his pro day before the draft as he knocked down 14 straight 3-pointers from the corner. Before this, no one thought of him as a shooter, but this workout showed that he can add a 3-point shot to his arsenal one day.
Lively II was recently on Duke Basketball's "The Brotherhood Podcast" and was asked about his jumper. Here's what he had to say.
"I'm pulling it, yo. I'm pulling my threes, I know that for sure. I'm not going to be out there forcing 'em, but whenever I got 'em I'm gonna take 'em."- Dereck Lively II
It sounds like Lively II is going to shoot some threes when he's open, and shooting could be the missing part of his game that will allow him to become a future star in the NBA.
Fans' first chance to see Lively II in action will be on October 5 against the Minnesota Timberwolves (Mavs' first preseason game). He seems as motivated as ever to get on the floor for Dallas, and fans should be on watch as he could make a massive impact during his rookie year.
We'll have you covered with all the latest news surrounding the Dallas Mavericks and Dereck Lively II heading into training camp, so stay tuned.