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NBA Mock Draft roundup: figuring out if Dereck Lively is worth the tenth pick

This summer’s draft figures to have plenty of movement, and the Mavericks could have a variety of options with their pick.

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Oral Roberts v Duke Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

We’re getting ever so closer to this summer’s NBA Draft. So let’s take the temperature of the internet’s intel on who the Dallas Mavericks could be selecting with the 10th pick, or whether it could be placed on the trade market with other players.


Mavericks selection: Taylor Hendricks (UCF)

The Dallas pick creates an intriguing swing spot in the lottery, with the Mavs looking to stay competitive around Luka Doncic and wielding this pick as a useful trade chip in improving the roster. That said, the Mavs should be in the market to improve their frontcourt no matter what, and grabbing Hendricks, who provides both rim protection and floor spacing, would be a feasible step in that direction. Hendricks is in play with teams all over the lottery due to his versatility and the intrinsic value of his skill set.

Bleacher Report

Mavericks selection: Leonard Miller* (G League Ignite)

*Bleacher Report suggests in this mock a Dallas Mavericks trade with the Toronto Raptors, which includes the Mavericks sending Miller, Tim Hardaway Jr., Josh Green, and a 2027 first round pick and receiving OG Anunoby from the Raptors in return.

Odds seem high that the Mavericks will be heavily shopping this summer’s pick packaged with other assets in search of a player that can help them win now. And the turnover in Toronto makes an intriguing partner.

The question you have to ask yourself is whether the Raptors’ forward is worth using all your remaining assets outside of sophomore guard Jaden Hardy. The Mavericks have no standalone players that can draw a splashy deal, so they will inevitably have to assemble a package if they’re in search of “one big move”. Is OG the big move the Mavericks are aiming for? I doubt it. But he might be one of the better fits. I’m always going to lean toward drafting a developing players on rookie deals over unloading the chest for one deal. But Anunoby would be worth pondering if the Mavericks are set on re-signing Kyrie Irving.

The Athletic

Mavericks selection: Dereck Lively II (Duke)

This swing to the other end of the draft spectrum, from trading the pick for a win now move. Drafting Lively is a belief in the future. The 7’1 big man flashes elite defensive potential, but won’t be your standalone center weapon and is likely a reach at the 10 spot.

The Mavericks need better center play, especially on the defensive end. So it’s hard to complain about the motivation. But center prospects have a steep learning curve entering the league — even more so when they aren’t a top-three talent. The level of reads and rotations required at the position can take a long time to develop. And that’s probably double for the Mavericks who lack defensive presence all over the floor.

Lively has been a common name pop up on social media from Mavericks fans. But I don’t see the Mavericks making this move at 10.

Sports Illustrated

Mavericks selection: Taylor Hendricks (UCF)

It will take someone like Kansas forward Gradey Dick jumping up inside the top ten for Taylor Hendricks to still be on the board at ten, like this SI mock suggests. Hendricks is in many ways exactly what the Mavericks need from this draft pick. His defensive athleticism, versatility to play both big man positions, and provide some catch-and-shoot ability is something that is not currently on the team’s roster.

But would the Mavericks be willing to use this pick on a non-splashy move? Knowing their history the answer is no. But Hendricks is a players I’d be more than excited to grab here.

Hoops Hype

Mavericks selection: Gradey Dick (Kansas)

The Hoops Hype mock drafts try to use a composite of a variety of other publications mocks and any insider insight they can collect. And this go around is the least appetizing scenario. All of the top ten big man talent is off the board, and the Mavericks are left with the next tier of players to ponder.

Dick is a high floor option, but won’t tip the scales in any one specific way. The Mavericks are unlikely to get an elite all around player at 10, but it would be nice for them to find someone who could boost at least one area of weakness. I’m not sure the Kansas forward does that, and this is where it’s worth considering trading back or out.