Duke basketball: Dereck Lively drafted and immediately traded

Duke basketball center Dereck Lively (Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball center Dereck Lively (Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball center Dereck Lively was drafted and immediately traded in the NBA Draft. 

The Oklahoma City Thunder hat that Duke basketball center Dereck Lively II sported on his way to the NBA Draft stage to meet commissioner Adam Silver will not be on his head much longer.

Lively was selected as the No. 12 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft on Thursday night but the pick belonged to the Dallas Mavericks after a traded agreed upon earlier in the evening.

The Mavericks traded the No. 10 overall selection, which was Kentucky’s Cason Wallace, and Davis Bertans to the Thunder for the No. 12 pick.

Lively, despite suffering a calf injury in the preseason, still played in 34 games, starting 27, for the Blue Devils and averaged 5.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game.

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The 7-foot-1 center struggled offensively in terms of scoring but shot 65.8-percent from the field and was named to the ACC All-Defensive and All-Freshman Teams.

Dereck Lively becomes Duke’s 30th all-time lottery pick, the most of any program, and fills a massive need for a Mavericks team that desperately needs a rim protector to try and improve following an extremely disappointing in which the team missed the postseason in its entirety.

Duke basketball center could have lengthy NBA career

Dereck Lively was one of the fastest rising players in the pre-draft process due to his defensive abilities which allows him to guard all five positions and he also showcased his improved 3-point shooting for NBA organizations during his workouts.

Lively, the No. 1 high school recruit entering college last summer, also becomes the first player selected from the Blue Devil program that had Jon Scheyer as his head coach.

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The Philadelphia native has also become the 107th player to be drafted from Duke and the program’s 54th all-time first-round pick as the Blue Devils have now had a first round pick for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons.

Dereck Lively could also team up with former Duke standout Kyrie Irving, should the organization resign the free agent, in Dallas.

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