Athletically, McGary is above average at the Center Position. He has great reaction and anticipation skills, great straight-away speed, very good mobility for a guy his size, but lacks great leaping ability.
McGary is physically built and has great size. His should present matchup problems for opposing centers and players thinking of going to the rack. His size will allow him to set great picks for his teammates to get open as well.
Occasionally, McGary would freeze defenders after setting a vicious pick and causing them to hesitate the rest of the game. In this way along with his aggressive demeanor, he reminds me a little of an old-school player such as Bill Laimbeer.
Two years ago, McGary showcased some of the best basketball IQ in the NCAA Tournament with his ability to dominate the game without being a dominant scorer. McGary showed the ability to master passing lanes and setting up teammates, when and where to set picks, and when to show up defensively.
McGary is not technically the most skilled player out there, but with his size and basketball smarts, he is usually ahead of the game. Offensively, McGary is really not much of a low-post scorer despite his size. That said, McGary showed flashes of a mid-range jumper that was developing as he was adjusting to the speed of the college game as a freshman.
Also, McGary is used to setting bone-crushing picks and does a good job of choosing to either pop or roll. After developing off the pick, McGary knows how to read an opposing defense and set up his teammates with his great passing ability.
Defensively, McGary is a little bit of an enforcer in terms of using a stocky build to shield off opposing drivers. Also, McGary can body up opposing low-post players and knock them out of the low post. Surprisingly, at his size, McGary has solid lateral quickness and can hold his own on switches when called upon.
Despite this, McGary is not a dominant presence in terms of impacting the game as a scorer or a rim protector. Offensively, McGary is a glue guy that can set up teammates. Defensively, McGary can be scored upon since he is not a great shot-blocker or leaper.
McGary can set the tone of the game that might not be noticed right away. He has a high basketball IQ, can rebound, set bone-crushing picks, pass, and is all over the court. He should make whomever better because he portrays characteristics of a winner.
Also, some of his characteristics such as size, basketball IQ, relentless motor, and much more make me feel he is one of the safest picks in the draft. In fact, I feel McGary is one of those players that thrives in a winning environment and will make playoff basketball type plays!
There are some giant red-flags with McGary. Recently, he just got busted for use of marijuana which is reportedly the only reason he declared the draft this year. This is on top of McGary being out with back surgery and being a young center with a bad back is a huge concern. Will teams shy away from drafting this talent?
How does he fit with the Bulls?
While the Bulls need athletic ability and scoring, the Bulls also need bulk at the center position and McGary provides that. If the red flags are cleared up, I really think McGary would flourish here and especially in having Thibs/Noah to help mentor him.
Noah can help McGary hone up his basketball savvy even more and show him tricks in NBA passing. McGary could muscle up some low-post players that give Taj/Noah fits. Other than a low-post scorer and other than Embiid and Jusuf Nurkic, I don’t see any centers that are better prospects than McGary for this team.
Overall, if medical/mental concerns are cleared, McGary is going to be a top 10 contributor in this draft due to size, smarts, and some skill. I feel McGary is going to be one of those salty veterans that make key plays in the playoffs. I think he is going to be a steal, but is most likely to being drafted in late first.