With the No. 12 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, the Dallas Mavericks selected Dereck Lively II, the 7-foot-1 center from Duke.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban said Dallas' biggest priority was adding a rim protector earlier that day, and Dallas did so later that night.
Lively II had flashes of greatness during the NBA Summer League, as he showcased his ability to protect the rim, switch on defense, and catch lobs. Mavs fans became attached to the young big man early, and Lively II was named a starter for the early preseason games by Mavs head coach Jason Kidd.
Rumors: 'Momentum' building for Mavericks rookie to start during regular season
Lively II had some good flashes during his 15 minutes of action in Dallas' first preseason game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on October 5. He finished with two points, five rebounds, and a block and displayed his ability to anchor Dallas' defense.
Minnesota seemed scared to drive when he was down low, and his presence alone made a difference. Lively II did finish with four fouls in those 15 minutes, but that is something he can work on as time goes on.
Kidd is starting Lively II to see how he fits in next to Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and Grant Williams, but according to one NBA Insider, this is something we could see into the regular season.
In the most recent episode of "The Hoop Collective," Tim MacMahon touched on what he has heard from inside the Mavs about Lively II.
"I'm hearing a lot of momentum for Dereck Lively to maybe start the season as a starter," MacMahon said. "Momentum has definitely picked up over the summer."
This is something that has been floating around for a while now, as Lively II has been impressive at training camp, and MacMahon's comments about what he is hearing is something that most Mavs fans want to hear.
Dwight Powell has been the starting center for Dallas for the last few years, and having Lively II develop and play heavy minutes would be beneficial for both sides.
We'll have you covered with all the latest news and rumors on Dereck Lively II and the Dallas Mavericks this season, so stay tuned.