4 Mavericks whose stocks are rising, 4 that are falling before Thunder series

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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2. Rising: Dereck Lively II

Towards the end of the regular season, Dereck Lively II sprained his knee in a game against the Houston Rockets on March 31. This injury was extremely untimely considering the Mavs were fighting for seeding in the Western Conference, but Lively II returned just in time for the 2024 NBA Playoffs and was able to play in Game 1 against the LA Clippers.

Against LA, Lively II averaged 8.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 0.5 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game while shooting 75 percent from the field. Lively II battled through a bit of a rough start in Games 1 and 2 and was able to string together an extremely productive series.

Lively II scored in double digits in three of the final four games in this series, and his energy was excellent. Dallas' ability to get him back involved with the pick and roll helped unlock Lively II offensively, and there were points in the series where it was clear that he should be starting over Daniel Gafford.

Lively II stepping up and playing at an elite level during this difficult time in his life has been huge for this team, and all of his teammates and coaches have been raving about the young rookie's maturity at this moment.

Lively II has become a fan favorite in Dallas due to his thunderous slams, selfless personality, and great defense, and his stock rising right before the biggest games of his career is ideal for the Mavs.