Ranking Dallas Mavericks contracts from bargain to nightmare

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14. Dereck Lively II

When the Dallas Mavericks drafted Dereck Lively II with the No. 12 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, no one knew exactly how good he would be. He was an amazing shot-blocker while at Duke and had decent rebounding numbers, but he only averaged about five points per game.

His offensive game was raw, but his talent as a lob catcher and shot-blocker were off the charts. Dallas took a chance on him, and he has been elite in his rookie season so far.

This season for Dallas, Lively II is averaging 8.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting an impressive 74.3 percent from the field. At the beginning of the season, Lively II was mainly just a lob catcher, but now his offensive game is starting to develop more.

Lively II has added an over-the-shoulder hook shot to his bag, and he has shown flashes that he can score out of the short roll by putting the ball on the floor. This was something that Lively II didn't do much early on, but he looks good in the short roll due to his passing and leaping abilities.

Lively II is in year one of his four-year, $22.3 million rookie deal, and that is a bargain for the impact he makes on both ends of the floor.