A volatile freshman season for the former No. 1 overall player in the class of 2022 has still left Dereck Lively II as a desirable pick in the mid-to-late first round. Lively’s offensive game never quite turned the corner in his freshman year at Duke; however, his improvements on the glass and on the defensive end have made him a desirable big man who has a high floor and a high ceiling. Let’s take a further look at Lively’s strengths, weaknesses, and measurements below! Other scouting reports can quickly be found on the Lineups 2023 Big Board or Final Mock Draft as well.
Dereck Lively II Scouting Report
Lively’s combine measurements helped him immensely, as he stands roughly 7-foot-1 in shoes with a massive plus wingspan that will surely deter drivers at the next level. Further, he weighed a solid 230 pounds, which is not quite where teams will want him to be, but it is not too far off either. Lively’s youth and projectability give him a massive ceiling that could propel him up draft boards ahead of the NBA Draft.
Weight: 230 lbs
College/ Professional Team: Duke
Strengths: Lively’s strengths are obvious from the moment you watch his footage; he has exceptional height, length, and athleticism, allowing him to contest shots that would otherwise be uncontestable, as well as throw down seemingly out-of-reach lobs. Lively’s rim protection ability projects to him being a Day 1 contributor for an NBA team, likely off the bench in the beginning. He also significantly improved his rebounding ability during his time at Duke, which will help him see plenty of court time.
Weaknesses: Offensive creation and shooting are the most significant issues for Lively as he makes his transition into the NBA, but there is reason to believe that both of these could be developed over time. His shooting mechanics actually looked quite solid in his pre-draft workouts, which is a massive plus for Lively and any team that drafts him. If he is able to develop any ability to drive off closeouts, he will have a long NBA career as a starting center.
Dereck Lively II Stats
Dereck Lively II NBA Comparison: Clint Capela with offensive upside
Lively’s defense immediately sparks the Clint Capela comparisons, as few centers in the league have the interior impact that he has had during his tenure. However, what makes Lively incredibly enticing is his upside on the offensive end of the floor. During some recent workouts, Lively showed shooting upside, something that was a bit raw while he was at Duke, but the mechanics are there. Further, he could even work his way up to attacking closeouts, similar to a player like Santi Aldama, who shields defenders using his length when he’s driving. It will take time, but the upside is evident.
Dereck Lively II Highlights
Check out Lively’s Duke highlights below, which display so much of that defensive upside that gets NBA teams excited, courtesy of Swish YouTube for the reel.
Dereck Lively II NBA Draft Ranking, Team Fit, Landing Spot
Draft Ranking: 11
Team Fit: Dallas
Lively would be an incredible fit in Dallas, a team that has lacked a center with the capabilities of Lively for quite some time; he would pair extremely well with Luka Doncic in the Mavs’ offense in the pick-and-roll and, eventually, the pick-and-pop. Lively should project as a floor spacer, which works great for the heliocentric offense that Dallas loves to utilize around Doncic. It is a match made in Heaven.
Landing Spot: Dallas, Toronto
There are a few teams besides Dallas that could be decent suitors for Dereck Lively II, including the Toronto Raptors, a team that loves length and versatility as much as any in the NBA. Toronto does not yet have a center that it can truly rely upon for the future