Mavericks’ Rookies Get Honest About Playing With Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

Getty Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

Two new faces (technically three if you count Richaun Holmes) became members of the Dallas Mavericks NBA draft night when Duke center Dereck Lively and Marquette forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper were selected by the Mavs in the first round. Holmes, a veteran, was acquired via trade from the Sacramento Kings.

The two rookies were introduced June 26 at a press conference. Prosper discussed entering the league knowing that he’ll be playing alongside Luka Doncic.

“Luka’s one of the best players in the world,” Prosper said, according to Sports Illustrated’s Grant Afseth. “Just playing with a guy like that, it’s just amazing. You can learn so much from a guy like that. He’s an unselfish player. He’s a player that loves to pass — loves to create. I’m just excited to be able to play with a guy like that, learn from him, and just complement him. For guys like us, we don’t need the ball in our hands. We’re ready to cut, finish, [or] catch lobs from Luka, all of those things. It’s just exciting to play with a guy like Luka.”

Lively echoed Prosper’s message, laying out the many ways he said he would fit beside the Slovenian star.

“It’s definitely going to get scary whenever I set a really good pick [for Luka], and he gets down the lane,” Lively said. “You’re not going to know if he’s going [to] get a kick-out 3, a floater, get to the rim, or throw it up for a lob…”

Dereck Lively Excited to Show Mavericks What He Can Do

Shortly after being selected by the Mavs, Dallas’ new big man caught up with Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney. Lively said that he was eager to get out on the court for Dallas and show the fan base how versatile he can be.

“That’s definitely something that’s going to be able to grow,” Lively told Deveney. “It’s something I’ve always had. Just because I wasn’t able to excel at it or show it as much as I wanted to, that doesn’t mean I never had it. I’m just excited to hit the ground running and show everybody what I can do.”

Lively, whom Dallas drafted at No. 12, averaged just 5.2 points and 5.4 rebounds as a freshman at Duke last year. In 34 games for the Blue Devils, he attempted 13 3-pointers for the entire year, making only two of them.

Mavericks Nearly Dealt Pick to Hawks for Clint Capela

Dallas nearly took a completely different route on draft night, according to NBA Insider Marc Stein.

Stein reported on June 24 that the Mavs were interested in a deal that would’ve landed them Clint Capela of the Atlanta Hawks.

“League sources say that the Hawks and Mavericks continued to hold dialogue this week on a potential trade featuring their first-round picks (No. 15 and No. 10, respectively) but the talks perished for good during the last 24 hours before the draft,” Stein wrote. “Sources say that Hawks, who tried in vain to trade No. 15 and John Collins to Dallas for No. 10 and Dāvis Bertāns, told the Mavericks they would surrender Capela only if the Mavericks added swingman Josh Green to the trade. The Mavericks, sources say, rejected that idea like they did all proposals involving Collins.”