Tyson Chandler’s Dereck Lively II admission will absolutely hype up all of Mavs fans

The Dallas Mavericks are looking to put a nightmare 2022-23 season behind them. To that end, they have made adding capable rebounders and interior defenders a priority, whether it’s via trade, via draft, or via free agency. One such player that should help improve their soft defense in the coming seasons is rookie big man Dereck Lively II, especially when he’s working with Tyson Chandler, someone who knows the ropes of how to become a high-caliber defensive anchor in the NBA.

And it seems like the early returns behind Lively’s training sessions with Chandler have been promising, to say the least. While the Mavs are likely to begin the 2023-24 season with Dwight Powell, Richaun Holmes, and Maxi Kleber playing the majority of minutes at the five, Lively should, sooner than later, be one of the best pieces they’ll be having on the interior, if Chandler’s early reviews of the young big man are any indication.

In fact, Tyson Chandler said that the Mavs youngster reminds him of himself a lot — lofty praise since Chandler helped the team win a championship during his heyday in 2011.

“He’s active. Very athletic, young kid. He reminds me of myself a lot,” Chandler said in an appearance on the All The Smoke podcast.

Leading up to the 2023 NBA Draft, the Mavs were already eyeing Dereck Lively II, as he would definitely fill a need for the team. Behind the scenes, Tyson Chandler was intently rooting for the Mavs to select Lively, as he wanted to impart the wisdom he had built throughout his successful 19-year NBA career. Little did Chandler know that Lively would exceed even his expectations of him.

“As the draft was coming along, I watched a little bit of tape, and I was like, ‘I hope they get this kid.’ Gives me something to do, like a project. A project to work on. And then they take him, I get to meet him … and he’s a great, great dude,” Chandler added.

Only 19 years old, Dereck Lively II has a lot to learn before the Mavs can rely on him heavily. But he may be ready to make an impact for the team sooner than most people expect.

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