Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd will have his work cut out for him heading into the 2023-24 NBA season. Kidd currently has the unenviable task of turning a Mavs team that missed the Play-in altogether a year ago into one that can compete for an NBA championship, all with a roster that really hasn't changed that much.
With these responsibilities in mind, it seems that Kidd is pulling out all the stops to search for potential production alongside stars Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic in the starting lineup.
Jason Kidd “plans to give rookie center Dereck Lively II every opportunity to win the job as Dallas' starting center,” according to Marc Stein of ESPN.
Lively was drafted out of Duke with the 12th pick in the 2023 draft. The Mavs are currently looking to replace the production of Javale McGee and Christian Wood, both of whom left the franchise during this offseason.
The center role on a team featuring Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic consists of a lot of lob-finishing responsibilities due to the attention that those two stars attract. Kidd will also hope to see some better rim protection at that spot this year, especially if the Mavs' perimeter defense is as malleable as it was a year ago.
With Doncic and Irving having a full offseason to work with one another, there should be little concern about Dallas' offensive prospects heading into 2023-24, even with a potentially inexperienced player at center. The question of whether or not the Mavs can compete for a championship will be answered on the defensive end of the floor.