Dereck Lively II says Lakers were ‘blown away’ with his shooting in predraft workout

David Akerman
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers currently have the No. 17 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, which is set to take place on Thursday.

Los Angeles could snag a solid young piece, but there’s reportedly an “increasing likelihood” that the team trades its first-round pick.

If that were to happen, the Lakers likely wouldn’t be able to acquire center Dereck Lively II, who said on Wednesday that the Lakers were “blown away” with his shooting during his predraft workout.

Ever if the Lakers were to stay put at No. 17, they likely wouldn’t have the chance to select the Duke University product. He seems to be gathering tons of steam and moving up teams’ boards as the draft gets closer and closer.

“League sources say that interest in Dereck Lively II has escalated to the point where teams may need to trade into the top 10 to snag him on draft night,” wrote Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman.

“The [Dallas] Mavericks trading out could allow him to be here at No. 12, and the [Oklahoma City] Thunder could think about building a defensive foundation with Lively and Chet Holmgren playing the 4.

“Still, Lively’s shooting during pro day and workouts have scouts revisiting the high school projections of a potential stretch-5 shot-blocker.”

During his pro day last month, Lively showed out. Obviously, pro days are very different compared to actual games against the best players in the world, but it’s interesting to see that Lively is capable of making outside shots and has a soft touch.

During his lone season at Duke, the 7-footer averaged 5.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game while making 65.8 percent of his shots from the field.

Rim protection is arguably his best skill, and he also showed flashes of being able to keep up with smaller players out on the perimeter. He’s very athletic and projects to be a good pick-and-roll threat and interior finisher in the NBA.

Furthermore, he’s a better passer than his 1.1 assists per game at Duke would suggest, as he made plenty of good reads throughout the 2022-23 season. He needs to work a bit on his post moves and be more creative down low, but there’s a solid base to work with.

Perhaps the Lakers surprise the NBA world and trade up to snag the 19-year-old. There’s also a chance he could fall right into L.A.’s lap.

Lively would be a solid backup for Anthony Davis and likely earn a decent amount of minutes with the Lakers next season. The 2023 NBA Draft is set to get underway at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday night.

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David is a University of Maryland graduate who has spent most of his life in Miami. He has experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.