Mavericks Lively Named to NBA All-Rookie Team

Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II | Image by Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II | Image by Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II has officially been named to the 2023-24 NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team for his performance during the regular season, marking the first time a Mavericks’ rookie has made one of the two teams since the 2018-19 season.

The All-Rookie Second Team also features Utah Jazz guard Keyonte George, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Cason Wallace, Houston Rockets guard Amen Thompson, and Memphis Grizzlies forward GG Jackson II.

Lively was selected with the 12th pick of the 2023 NBA Draft out of Duke University, finishing the season averaging 8.8 points and 6.9 rebounds while leading the Mavericks with 1.4 blocks per game.

The 7-foot-1-inch center ended the year with eight double-doubles, tying Scoot Henderson and trailing behind just Victor Wembanyama, Chet Holmgren, and Amen Thompson for the most among rookies, per The Dallas Mavericks.

Lively is now the first Mavericks rookie to be named to one of the two all-rookie teams since the 2018-19 season, in which guard Luka Dončić made the All-Rookie First Team and won Rookie of the Year.

This award makes Lively the 12th Mavericks rookie to be named to one of the two all-rookie teams and just the seventh rookie to make one since 2000, according to Statmuse.

Lively said that coming into his rookie season he “never imagined” that he would be as successful as he was, and he is glad to be on a team that has utilized him so well.

“I never imagined the position I’d be in or to have this much success. So I’m grateful. And I’m just trying to focus on what we have going forward,” he added, according to The Dallas Mavericks.

Although Lively said he was glad to be recognized for the award, he made it clear that his focus is on winning. He just wants to “go out there and get the W.”

“They (voters) are going to look in the regular season of who’s making the most noise, who had the most eyes on them,” he explained, per The Dallas Mavericks.

“But no matter if I have 10 points, 10 rebounds, 10 blocks or zero points, zero rebounds, zero blocks, zero assists, I just want to win.”

While Lively had an incredible rookie season to help him earn this award, he has been even more effective through the Mavericks’ first 12 games of their playoff run.

Lively’s most impactful string of games came in the second round against the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he averaged 7.7 points and 7.8 rebounds while also blocking 1.2 shots per game.

His impact was most evident during the Mavericks’ comeback win in Game 6 to close out the Thunder, as Lively contributed 10 points and seven rebounds in the fourth quarter alone.

The Mavericks are preparing to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference Finals. Lively will likely play heavy minutes to combat a Minnesota team that plays multiple big men.

The first game of the Western Conference Finals will begin on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Minnesota. The Mavericks will play two games there before traveling back to the American Airlines Center for Games 3 and 4.

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