Dallas Mavericks’ Dereck Lively II Is More Than a Rookie

Dallas Mavericks

Born in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania, on February 12, 2004, to Dereck Lively Sr. and the late Kathy Drysdale, who died of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 53 on April 12, 2024, Dereck Lively II is a rising Dallas Mavericks rookie to shift your attention to. Lively II, 20, was recently named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team and became the first Dallas Maverick to receive an NBA All-Rookie Team nomination since Luka Doncic in 2018-19.

Dereck Lively II’s strength reportedly helped him find a second family in the Dallas Mavericks. In addition, Lively II’s strength also showcased his perseverance in life, along with his importance to the Dallas Mavericks’ success.

Here’s what you need to know about Dereck Lively II, who’s an arguably promising Dallas Mavericks rookie, and his life on and off the basketball court.

Dallas Mavericks Rookie Is a Pennsylvania Guy

As stated in the introduction, Dereck Lively II was born in Philadelphia and attended the Westtown School in West Chester, Pennsylvania, 37 miles outside Philly. At the Westtown School, Lively II swam and played basketball and football and led Westtown to a 31-17 record en route to the 2022 Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association state championship. He finished high school, averaging 14 points, 14 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks per game in his senior year, which led him to be selected to the 2022 McDonald’s All-American Boys Game.

Although a Pennsylvania guy, Dereck Lively II committed to playing college basketball at Duke despite receiving offers from Penn State, Michigan, and Kentucky. It’s all good, though, as Lively II played just one season at Duke before he declared for the 2023 NBA Draft. The Duke basketball alum was drafted 12th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder, traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and debuted as a Dallas Maverick on October 25, 2023, and recorded 16 points, 10 rebounds, one block, and one steal in the Mavericks’ 126-119 win against the San Antonio Spurs.

Dallas Mavericks Rookie’s Top Highlights 

Aside from his Dallas Mavericks debut on October 25, 2023, Dereck Lively II has had his fair share of noteworthy games in his NBA career so far. For example, Lively II posted 22 points — his most points in a game — in the Mavericks’ 127-92 blowout win over the Chicago Bulls on March 11, 2024. Lively II’s reaction to his career night was short and sweet: “I’m just thankful for my teammates.”

Dereck Lively II might be a role player for the Dallas Mavericks on paper, but he has been shining when the lights were the brightest when the Mavericks advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the second time in three years. Lively II didn’t look like a rookie in Game 6 as he recorded a double-double of 12 points and 15 rebounds and a team-high +26 rating in 29 minutes off the bench. Lively II’s well-timed plays down the stretch also contributed to the Mavericks’ recent postseason success.

Not the Average Dallas Mavericks Rookie

As the header implies, Dereck Lively II isn’t the average Dallas Mavericks rookie. Lively II made the most out of his Mavericks and NBA debut by scoring more points (22) in the league than in his college career. Typically, college basketball statistics don’t always translate to successful professional basketball players, but Lively II has never scored more than 13 points in a game and had just five double-doubles at Duke.

Although not the only Duke basketball alum on the Dallas Mavericks’ roster, Dereck Lively II is arguably a solid rookie on a star-studded team. Lively II recorded 20 points, 16 rebounds, and seven blocks in 39 minutes, while the Mavericks went on an NBA-breaking 30-0 run in a 126-120 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on December 2, 2023. Sure, Dallas suffered a heartbreaking loss, but Lively II became the first player in NBA history to record a stat line of at least 20 points, 15 rebounds, and five blocks on 100% shooting as a teenager. Lively II’s career will probably stay this way.

About the Author 

Ana is an accomplished journalist with various credentials in writing, reporting, and broadcasting. With a diverse background and a bachelor’s degree in communications from San Jose State University, Ana can deliver the news in a timely manner and share her opinions with confidence. Her other articles can be found here

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