Speculated change in Mavericks starting lineup would lead them to NBA Finals

Dallas Mavericks, Dereck Lively II
Dallas Mavericks, Dereck Lively II / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

One reporter speculates a more permanent change in the Dallas Mavericks starting lineup that could help lead them back to the NBA Finals in 2025.

NBA reporter Tim MacMahon was on "Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective" to talk about Klay Thompson's recent move to Dallas. While speaking on what all the Mavs have done this offseason, MacMahon made one statement that will likely have Mavs fans in much agreement.

The NBA insider says that sources told him that Dallas big man Dereck Lively II has the potential to reach the status of a Hall of Fame player on the defensive end of the floor as he was compared to two former All-Stars.

Dereck Lively II becoming a starter would propel Mavs to NBA Finals next year

MacMahon said that he thinks Lively II will end up being the starter next year and they dove into his impact on the Mavs and just how good he can be going forward.

Dereck Lively II has only gotten better as time has progressed. He's become a defensive anchor to his team which was badly needed after last year. Since the trades to pick up P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford, the depth for Dallas' frontcourt checks all the boxes.

Lively II moving into a starting role fits Dallas more consistently. After all, we saw Dallas many times throughout the playoffs start Gafford over Lively II, but the big man from Duke would get his number called not even four minutes into a contest.

Lively II averaged 8.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks during the regular season. The growth of the young big man can only go up from here during his sophomore campaign in the NBA.

MacMahon even went as far as to compare Lively II to NBA greats, such as Joakim Noah, and Hall of Fame power forward Kevin Garnett.

"I do think (Dereck) Lively ends up starting...I've been told they think Lively has Joakim Noah, Kevin Garnett type of defensive potential, in terms of not just being your traditional anchor, but being an all-over-the-floor type of presence."

NBA reporter Tim MacMahon

A consistent Lively II in the starting lineup only improves his on-court growth even more, as the maturity of the young man showed in the NBA Finals.

If Gafford is moved to the bench, his minutes would still be extremely valuable as the biggest energizer on the team. Gafford has praised Lively II for his minutes whether starting or not.

For more on Dereck Lively II and the Mavs, stay tuned.