The Nuggets selected Doug McDermott with the No. 11 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday and reportedly agreed to trade his rights to the Bulls for the 16th and 19th picks. Here’s a look at McDermott and how he fits with Chicago:
Bio: Creighton | Senior | Small forward
Vitals: 6-8, 218 pounds
2013-14 stats: 26.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 52.6 FG% 44.9 3FG%
Strengths: McDermott was one of the most prolific scorers in NCAA history. He dominated in each of his four seasons at Creighton by using a polished mid-range game, post-ups and – his best skill – shooting. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about McDermott’s college career was his ability to balance efficiency with a high usage rate. McDermott probably won’t be asked to carry an NBA offense, but his skill set makes him well suited for a secondary scoring role.
Weaknesses: Defense is the biggest question. It’s unclear whether he is agile enough to stay in front of ball handlers or strong enough to handle post players. His lack of elite athleticism, coupled with a smaller frame than some expected (he measured 6-6¼ without shoes, with a 6-9¼ wingspan, at the combine), could give teams pause. And while he had no trouble scoring against college opponents, there could be an adjustment period against longer, quicker NBA defenders.
Team Fit: Last season the Bulls -- even after the fortunate mid-year acquisition of D.J. Augustin -- ranked 26th in three-point attempts and 24th in three-point percentage. McDermott addresses that deficit in a big way, bringing not only shooting range but also a wider scoring skill set than he's often given credit. There's a nice variety in McDermott's game that will allow him to pile up points without monopolizing possessions in bulk. He can play off a creator such as Derrick Rose and provide an active, ready target for a passer like Joakim Noah. There's a nice defensive safety net in place for McDermott in Chicago as well, given that Jimmy Butler will guard the better of the opposing wings while Noah lurks as an elite help defender.
This selection makes a good deal of sense all around, with Chicago's maneuver of trading two picks (No. 16 and No. 19) for this one trimming its salary commitment just a hair. It's not much, but every dollar counts in the Bulls' pursuit of Carmelo Anthony.
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