Watching the NBA draft with 25 guys in my basement is always a thrill. Hoping, waiting, watching to see who the Bulls will take. When Doug McDermott was drafted at number 11 several people thought we dodged a bullet. Then we all immediately started looking at twitter for the trade which showed up a minute later.
I've held an NBA draft party since the 2007 NBA draft, and I have to say, more or less, Bulls fans don't ever seem to be too happy with the draft. I was one of the few people excited for Joakim Noah over Spencer Hawes. Everyone hated Taj Gibson so much his nick name was Taj "not Blair" Gibson for about half a season.
Ironically, James Johnson and Marquis Teague were two of the more well received picks, while Nikola Mirotic was somewhat disappointing in that we could have had the Marshon Brooks who was still on the board. I can't say there was a whole lot of excitement over Jimmy "who?" Butler, and there was a mutiny over Tony Snell (okay, that one I think we nailed).
So when I look back at all these draft day thoughts I'm left with the reminder that we don't know jack. I'm quite certain that if the average Bulls fans conducted the draft every year, we'd do far worse than the actual team. It wouldn't even be close. So when I see the Bulls getting McDermott to cries of he's the next Adam Morrison, I'll take a deep breath.
Yeah, I wanted to keep both picks and I would have been pretty psyched with Gary Harris and Rodney Hood or even the picks that actually went where the Bulls drafted as we could have stashed Nurkic and kept Harris. However, the Bulls got one of the best scorers in the history of college basketball.
A guy who shot 48.6%, 49%, and 44.9% from the three point line over the past three seasons while shooting 66.3%, 57.3%, and 56.7% from the field overall. He gets shots in the post, he gets shots from beyond the arc, he gets shots on every play type imaginable. The defense knows he's coming, and they still can't stop him.
A guy who clearly fills a need for us as someone who can make shots. His college stats dominate Adam Morrison, and he measured taller and with five inches of extra vertical, so he's more than a bit more athletic. He was also a proven shooter whereas Ammo only shot well from the three point line for one of his three years in college.
DraftExpress did a nice video breakdown of McDermott against NBA caliber length/athleticism highlighting his games against guys with similar size/athleticism to what he'll see in the NBA. They call all his makes good moments and his misses bad, but I felt pretty encouraged watching the video.
Overall, McDermott still scored efficiently and with volume against legit NBA size, and even a lot of the "bad" moments were times he was able to get a pretty clean look at, but just missed.
Here is their normal scouting report:
So while we're all thinking of the bad comparison's, here's an interesting one that no one else has made. How about Kevin Love? Prior to the draft, many hated on Love due to lack of athleticism and height. He was crafty and skilled, but how would that translate to the NBA without the hops or size?
McDermott isn't Love, and he's more of a tweener, but he faces similar questions, and I bring up Kevin Love not to say that they'll play the same way, but to note that there are plenty of players who've faced similar questions and answered them pretty damn well.
McDermott isn't the sexy pick with huge perceived upside due to both age and athleticism. However, he should step in immediately and fill a valuable need for Chicago. His defense is certainly a concern, but Thibodeau managed to put together an elite defense for four years with Carlos Boozer anchoring one of the core defensive positions.
For the Bulls to be unable to hide McDermott, he'll have to be considerably WORSE than Carlos Boozer on defense. I think Thibs will find a way to make it work. Doug will step on the court for the Bulls and immediately be the best shooter on the team which is something Chicago has needed desperately since Kyle Korver left.
I wasn't psyched about McDermott prior to the draft. When measuring upside by age and athleticism, there are a bunch of guys with more of it than Douggie McBuckets, but McDermott's floor seems pretty high to me, and quite honestly? His upside might be a whole lot more than people suspect too.
In the end, we'll simply have to wait and see. It's hard to get too moved one way or the other by a draft pick outside the top 10, but I'm going to give Doug a chance and hope his skills can translate to the next level.
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