The Dallas Mavericks had a tough season last year and missed out on the playoffs. This summer, their main goal was to improve the team around their star players, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.
The Mavericks signed Kyrie to a three-year contract, and they focused on improving their center position and defense by drafting Dereck Lively II. Although Lively didn’t have a notable offensive season at Duke, his exceptional defensive skills were evident in the limited playing time he had.
Lively showcased his defensive skills and work ethic during the Mavericks’ Summer League game, proving why he was chosen as the top pick in the draft. In four games, he has averaged 8.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 0.8 blocks.
Lively, though, has objectives beyond the Summer League. He told ESPN that he is prepared to take on a significant role in the NBA and that he aspires to be a “dominant force” there.
It’s encouraging to hear that the young big man has high expectations because he might be vital to the Mavericks’ future if all goes as planned. Lively ought to be able to contribute defensively in Dallas right away. If it does, he will be the greatest defender the Mavericks have at the five because of his length and quickness, and if he develops offensively enough, he might start by the end of the season.
For Lively, it will be essential. Dallas should feel at ease starting him next to Doncic and Irving if he can develop offensively to the point where he’s proficient at receiving lobs and running the pick-and-roll.
The young center could do anything with the help of the Mavericks and his lofty goals.