In this edition of the continuing series of profiles on this year’s NBA Draft prospects, we will look at Doug McDermott. McDermott is a 6’8″ forward out of Creighton who shoots lights out. This is something the Bulls are desperate to have.
When I say McDermott can shoot, I mean he can shoot…from deep…with his eyes covered. This past season, he put up 627 shots, making 53% of them. Of those shots, an incredible 214 of them were 3-pt attempts. He made 45% of those treys. Of the two-point attempts, McDermott shot 57%. His true shooting percentage was 65%, third best among all prospects. He attempted a lot more shots, so that high percentage is that much better. Over his collegiate career, he shot 55% overall, 59% from 2-point range, and 46% from three.
McDermott is a hard worker who goes all-out, which should endear him to Chicago fans. He is, however, average athletically, and might struggle defensively. He may be a tweener, too slow to guard small forwards, and too small to take the punishment from power forward. Tom Thibodeau has gotten a lot from players with less ability than McDermott, though.
Some in the media have compared McDermott to Larry Bird. He was asked about it when he spoke to the media during the combine. “I’ve heard it, but they’re crazy,” he said. “Because there’s not another Larry Bird, I don’t think, in my mind. If I could do half of what Larry accomplished, I’d be just fine. It’s pretty cool just to be mentioned in the same sentence as him, but there’s not going to be another Larry Bird.”
The comparisons are a little crazy. With the athleticism of players in the NBA nowadays, I think he’ll have a career similar to that of Kyle Korver. Korver has had a solid career in the league as a role player, a shooter off the bench. McDermott can have a good ten-year career being a sharpshooter.
McDermott is a four-year player, so that may affect his draft position. He has been projected anywhere from eight to seventeen, and part of the reason is that in this day and age, teams want the freshmen or sophomores.
McDermott is familiar with the Bulls. His agent is based in Chicago, and he has been working out in Chicago. One of his confidants is the aforementioned Korver, who also starred at Creighton.
“He loved it,” McDermott said of the information he got about Chicago from Korver. “He loved it. He didn’t want to leave. He had a great time here; he liked Coach Thibodeau and all his teammates, Joakim Noah. So he’s a great resource to have when talking about teams.”
Having Jimmer Fredette train an offseason with the Bulls, Mike Dunleavy Jr. and drafting McDermott would give the Bulls some great shooting off the bench. A good scoring bench would take some pressure off of the starters, and distributing the scoring would make it tough on a defense to key in on one player. The question is how much will their own defense suffer in order to gain some scoring. If someone can work with players to get their defense up to par, it’s Thibodeau. Remember, he got Nate Robinson to play some defense.