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Dereck Lively’s NBA Debut Was Limited But Solid

Dallas seems pleased so far

2023 NBA Summer League - Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder
 LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 08: Dereck Lively II #2 of the Dallas Mavericks dunks on the Oklahoma City Thunder during the first quarter at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 08, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images

As NBA Summer League play cranks up, Dereck Lively is settling in with the Dallas Mavericks but he had a bit of a situation: since his draft-day trade from OKC was only official on Thursday, he was only been able to practice once, on Friday, before his debut. So obviously he’s got a lot to learn.

Still, he played reasonably well, according to his Summer League coach, Mavs assistant Jared Dudley, an unusually smart player who starred at Boston College, who said this about Lively and fellow rookie Olivier-Maxence Prosper after practice Sunday: “That was the least of my concerns — those two. I thought they played well enough.

“Maybe if they weren’t on a minutes restriction it would have been different, because they would have played a lot more and I know they would have gotten better as time goes on...If you look at their minutes when they were in there, Omax was phenomenal, (and) Lively controlled it. (Lively) caught a nice little lob. One or two finishes. He’ll finish it the next game. It’s the first time them getting really the chemistry and feel.”

It’s still really early obviously but it’s always a good sign when your coaches have confidence in you.