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NBA Draft Update: Dereck Lively Rising, Whitehead’s Status Still Uncertain After Surgery

People are getting excited about Lively

NC State v Duke
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 28: Dereck Lively II #1 of the Duke Blue Devils battles Terquavion Smith #0 and D.J. Burns Jr. #30 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack for a rebound during the first half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 28, 2023 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

As the draft draws ever closer, opinions about Dereck Lively continue to change and the general sense is that he has moved up and probably as much as anyone.

In the Aggregate Mock Draft linked below, he goes to Utah at #16, but the general sense is that he could go higher, perhaps to Dallas at #10.

Duke fans got a pretty good idea of his potential by the end of the season but for people who aren’t sure, he told HoopsHype this about who he plays like: “I’d definitely say Willie Cauley-Stein, and you’ve got aspects of Anthony Davis’ game and Hakeem Olajuwon’s game.”

We can definitely see Cauley-Stein; that’s a great comparison, but one of the things that people have been surprised by is his three point shooting.

His upside clearly has people intrigued.

As for Dariq Whitehead, his second foot surgery may be causing some uncertainty. Obviously the medical people will decide about Whitehead’s status, but his second surgery seems like a cleanup job to maybe sort out some lingering issues (as it turns out, his surgeon, Dr. Martin O’Malley says that it’s a “revision operation with bone grafting for a fifth metatarsal Jones fracture.” So basically a cleanup).

The problem is that they still haven’t seen him at his best so to an extent it will be a leap of faith. But he’s already shown he’s resourceful and determined enough to come back from a significant injury. He’s worth it.

2023 NBA Draft Scouting Report: Dariq Whitehead

Dariq Whitehead gets second foot surgery, on track for camp

Duke’s Dariq Whitehead Has Second Foot Surgery