- Measurables: 6-foot-8, 225 lbs, senior forward from Creighton
- Key Stats: 26.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 53 FG%, 45 3pt% and 86 FT%
- Projected: Late lottery
Matters to No One But Me …
There is a lot to like about Dougie McBuckets, but I’ll go with his willingness to make fun of losers on Twitter as one of my favorite intangible qualities.
Fits with the Pistons because …
A wing who was one of the best players in college basketball and came within an eyelash of a 50-40-90 shooting season each of the last two years? Yeah, I’d say that fits the profile of someone who could help Detroit’s painfully one-dimensional offense.
McDermott first and foremost is an incredible shooter, particularly from 3-point range. As the focal point of Creighton’s offense, with teams sending multiple defenders at him, he never shot below 50 percent overall or 40 percent from 3-point range in any of his four college seasons. As good as he was from the moment he started playing college basketball, he still improved elements of his game, getting better at both getting to the free throw line and converting (he raised his free throw percentage from 75 to 86 percent in four years) and added to his game from mid-range and around the basket. His strength will definitely be shooting, but he’s made his off-the-dribble game credible enough that it could be a threat for him as a pro if he continues working at it.
Doesn’t fit with the Pistons because …
McDermott is mostly described as a tweener forward, so he’s possibly too slow to guard NBA small forwards and not strong enough to guard NBA power forwards, which seems to be a description of a lot of skilled but positionless forwards entering the league lately. The Pistons have an obvious need for his shooting, but they also need a wing who can help improve their awful defense, and McDermott might only complicate their defensive issues. If the roster stays similar, they don’t have many minutes for him at power forward and if they play him at small forward, they would still have similar problems matchup up that the Smith-Monroe-Drummond frontcourt had this season.
From the Experts
McDermott is the best scorer in college basketball, and after being widely ignored by scouts the past three years, is finally getting love. It started with his play with the U.S. select team this summer, where scouts started to see a role for him as a lights-out shooter who could stretch the floor. His terrific basketball IQ and his creativity in scoring are also reasons to get excited about his future. His slow feet and porous defense are the reasons he’s not another five or six spots higher on our big board.
What’s perhaps most impressive about McDermott is that he’s not just a volume scorer, he’s also tremendously efficient—his percentages: 57% 2P%, 45% 3P%, along with just 1.8 turnovers per game, are sparkling. Its virtually unprecedented to see a player score at the rate he does, and still remain that efficient. His true shooting percentage was 65% this season, third best among draft prospects (behind Stauskas and Embiid), but he carried a significantly heavier usage role than either, which makes his efficiency all the more impressive.
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