3 things Mavericks rookie Dereck Lively II must improve to reach his ceiling

2023 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot
2023 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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2. Shooting

Dereck Lively II only made two three-point shots throughout his entire freshman season with Duke last year, but his potential shooting ability has the potential to make him one of the most prolific centers in the NBA if he can harness it.

Lively II can be seen here, nailing three after three during his pro day ahead of the NBA Draft this past spring. Lively II clearly has some touch for a player of his immense size, but being able to shoot at a high rate consistently amidst NBA defenses trying as hard as they can to derail your shot will definitely take some time for the young rookie to get more consistent at.

Lively II didn't look too confident in his limited attempts from distance throughout NBA Summer League, but improving shot mechanics and continued repetition will yield positive results in the long run for the development of Lively II's shot in Dallas.

There have been very few centers in Dallas that have been able to both stretch the floor and rim-protect at a starting-caliber level. Kristaps Porzingis is perhaps the only Maverick in recent memory that could do this, and it's well documented the amount of lapses he had in terms of staying consistent on both ends of the court during his time in Dallas.

Dallas has been offered an extremely rare breed of player if Lively II can capitalize upon his shooting development throughout the course of his career, and they could be looking at a Myles Turner (who would fit perfectly in Dallas) prototype if Lively II is able to do so.

If Lively II could mold his shooting into something that is palpable, then Dallas would finally have the long-coveted prototypical modern-day rim protector that can stretch the floor that they've always wanted.

Shooting is never easy to improve upon for a player of Lively II's size, and only time will tell how well he's able to improve his shooting, but if he can even be a slight threat from the outside, it would unlock the keys to the toolbox in this Mavericks offense with Luka Doncic.