4. Dereck Lively II quote
Seemingly every veteran that crossed the podium on Dallas' media day raved about the tandem of Dereck Lively II and Luka Doncic in the pick and roll together. They also emphasized how much Lively II himself has taken major steps, literally just since the NBA Summer League wrapped up just a little over two months ago.
Lively II brought a lot of energy to his media day press conference, and the veterans on the Mavericks roster seemed to have sorely appreciated the rookies in Prosper and Lively II for bringing energy amidst a season that can get monotonous and repetitive.
Lively II seems to be well aware of his pairing with Luka Doncic being more lethal than expected and seems humbly aware of how good he might be right off the bat. When asked if he's been surprised by any of Luka's passes since training camp started, Lively II had this to say:
"There's been some passes I've caught where I'm like... there's no way the ball should be here."- Dereck Lively II
Dereck Lively II flashed some scary athleticism during the Dallas Mavericks Summer League, but he still was riddled with plenty of rookie mistakes in the process. If he is able to eliminate those by a wide enough margin, Dallas may have their rim protector and rim-roller of the future poised to be ready to start day one come October, 25.
The hype surrounding Lively II is certainly warranted, and we haven't seen him play with two guards as savvy at setting him up in the pick-and-roll as Doncic and Irving.
Lively II will have to prove all this hype correct though, and he'll have a tall task to start off as he'll face off against Rudy Gobert and Karl Anthony-Towns down low in his first preseason game against Minnesota on October 5.