2014 NBA Draft – Doug McDermott
WEIGHT: 225 LBS
NBA PLAYERS COMPARISON: Larry Bird, Jesus, Peja Stojakavic, Ryan Anderson, Mike Dunleavy
Nickname: Dougie McBuckets
Doug, Doug, oh, Doug, Dougie, Dougie, Doug, Doug.
As you may know, that is a couple lines from The Hangover anthem, “Stu’s Song,” (the one about the tiger) and what plays in my head every time I think of Doug McDermott for some reason. College basketball’s player of the year is knockdown shooter with unlimited range. McDermott can score from anywhere and has made real strides during his junior and senior season in college to develop into more of a scorer, rather than just a spot-up shooter. Guys like McDermott don’t come around everyday, and that’s why he’ll be a lottery pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Dougie McBuckets didn’t get his nickname or average more than 26 points per game for standing around and shooting set shots. He can do it all. McDermott’s shot is so good that it opens other aspects of his offensive game. Because he’s so good from three-point range, a shot fake or head fake can send defenders flying, which either gives him an open look or wide-open driving lanes. McDermott also does most of his work offensively before the catch by his off-ball movement. At Creighton, nearly every possession, he ran off multiple screens and got open looks within the offense.
F.Y.I. Creighton’s offense was virtually all about pushing the ball in transition and setting screens for Dougie McBuckets.
McDermott had the rare opportunity to play for his father in college. Like all sons of coaches, he has a very high “basketball IQ.” Normally, he makes the right play, works extra hard, and has all the intangible leadership qualities any coach could ask for. Most importantly, McDermott is a polished prospect. He’s been around the block a time or two, and he’s developed into a fundamentally sound player who makes few mistakes.
For as good as he is offensively, McDermott struggles athletically and defensively. It’s the one question mark on his game and main talking point in whether or not his game translates to the NBA level. He also falls into that handful of forwards who don’t really have a set position. McDermott’s a frontcourt player, but is he fast enough to guard small forwards? Is he big and strong enough to bang with the power forwards? If McDermott starts to slide in the draft, it will be because of his athleticism and defense.
As we get closer to the draft, you’ll start to hear more and more pundits talking about “upside.” Another reason McDermott could fall in the draft is because he doesn’t have the same potential to be a star player that, say, Noah Vonleh has. Expect McDermott to have a long, steady NBA career. He could even be a star, but a player like McDermott hasn’t led a team to a championship since Bird’s Celtics in the 1980s. And when I say “a player like McDermott,” I don’t just mean a white dude. I mean, there hasn’t been a player with McDermott’s skill set to lead a team to a championship. He’s probably not going to be the face of any franchise.
McDermott is an underrated rebounder. Throughout his college career, he averaged more than seven rebounds per game. Obviously, holding your own on the boards in college is a lot different than trying to grab rebounds over some of the biggest and best athletes in the world. But, rebounding is as much or more about positioning and reading where the ball will bounce rather than pure athleticism. McDermott seems to have a great understanding of that part of rebounding. If he ever moves away from the three-point line in the NBA (why would he?), McDermott will surprise some with his ability to get some easy putbacks and earn some extra possessions for his team.
Where McDermott Lands:
Realistically, McDermott could fall anywhere between picks 8-20, but will probably land in the 10-15 range. I could see the Sacramento Kings taking Dougie McBuckets with the eighth pick; however, I think it would be a mistake and not a great fit for all parties involved. The more realistic pick for drafting McDermott is Phoenix at 14.
The Suns would be the best fit for McDermott, only because the Suns LOVE shooting threes. Plus, there’s this “nobody believes in us”/ “misfits” vibe with the Suns, and McDermott fits in perfectly with that group. Not necessarily because he is an outcast or anything like that, but he doesn’t have a position and neither does anyone else on the Suns and they definitely don’t care. The other Plumlee played center for a while this season. They really do not care about positions.
Part of me feels like McDermott is going to go to either Sacramento or Philadelphia, and he won’t fit in at all. He’ll, then, be labeled a bust and somehow wind up in San Antonio where Tim Duncan (the new Spurs’ coach) finds the perfect role for him and McDermott sets the NBA Finals record for three-pointers made in a game with 10. How crazy would that be?