3 best fits for Dereck Lively II in 2023 NBA Draft, including Golden State Warriors

As one of the top center prospects in his class, Dereck Lively II is a surefire first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

But there’s a reason why the former Duke big man isn’t being viewed as a likely top-five pick. While he is skilled and has the potential to make an impact on both sides of the ball, for now, Lively can only be counted on for his defensive ability.

Still, scouts like the former five-star recruit to continue expanding his offensive game, stretching his range while adding more post moves to his repertoire. Yet even now, Lively II can help a number of teams as a rookie. Let’s get into our Lively draft profile, where we project a few NBA landing spots for the Philadelphia native.

Related: Top 2023 NBA free agents: Best 100 available with positional breakdowns

Dereck Lively II measurables

  • Height: 7-foot-1
  • Wingspan: 7-foot-7
  • Weight: 230 pounds

Dereck Lively II scouting report

  • Positives: Stretchy big man with plenty of length. Lively’s athleticism and awareness help make him a consistent rim protector. Understands offensive limitations, takes high-percentage shots, and finishes with authority. Great defender in the paint, and his quick feet allow him to be effective even on the wing. Big lob threat, astute as a pick-and-roller, good touch with both hands.
  • Negatives: Offensive project. Willing to hit the three but needs to become more comfortable beyond the arc. Limited contributor offensively due to a lack of shot creation/avoidance to shooting from mid-range. Needs to bulk up to bang in the paint. Has to work on staying out of foul trouble.

Related: NBA mock draft 2023: Projecting all 58 picks

Best fits for Dereck Lively II in 2023 NBA Draft

Finding skilled big men who have the ability to contribute in the scoring column while providing rock-solid defense is hard to find. Lively has length, quick feet, and the potential to grow into a reliable scorer. Teams picking late in the lottery will have a hard time overlooking Lively’s upside, but which organizations fit him best?

Dallas Mavericks (10th pick)

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks need to add talent at several positions, and injecting more size into the lineup wouldn’t hurt. Luka Doncic has shown he’s more than capable of handling distribution and the scoring load, but he’s not ideal on defense or in rim protection.

That’s where Lively could be a perfect fit, giving Doncic a pick-and-roll partner who can ease the pressure defensively while adding a lob threat into the mix. Who knows? Maybe Lively can eventually be relied on for a scoring boost, much like Christian Wood, but as a rookie, he’d already be much better defensively.

Related: NBA playoff predictions: Bracket picks & 2023 Finals champion

Orlando Magic (11th pick)

Jan 30, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) dribbles the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to holding the 11th pick, the Magic also have the sixth selection in the 2023 NBA Draft. Point guard Jalen Suggs, small forward Franz Wagner, and power forward Paolo Banchero are all likely franchise cornerstones, but outside of those three positions, starting spots may be up for grabs in Orlando.

This means adding a paint protector like Lively could pair well with Banchero who thrives on offense much more so than on defense. An added benefit to the Magic selecting Lively is that he’s not one who requires offensive touches to make an impact, which allows Banchero, Suggs, and Wagner to continue developing without a hitch.

Related: NBA Power Rankings: Denver Nuggets rise to top spot for first time in ’22-’23

Golden State Warriors (19th pick)

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have plenty of shooters who can score the rock, but finding contributors who don’t need the ball in their hands to be successful can be tougher to come by. But Duke’s Lively could be an intriguing option for the Dubs with the 19th pick.

Kevon Looney is a rebounding machine, but the Warriors could use more rim protection. That’s where Lively could be an ideal fit. Let’s be honest, Lively may not find a lot of situations where he can start from Day One, and that’s the case in the Bay Area too. But he’d be a great complementary option to spell Looney off the bench until he can show he’s ready to start.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: