The NBA Draft is quickly approaching, and with that comes the hype. The buzz surrounding Charlotte this offseason is a big topic right now, as the Bugs look to expand on their success from last season. The question is who will bring that change come June. Here we will take a look at the best options for the Charlotte Hornets as we kick off our Draft Profile series.
Of all the prospects in the draft, McDermott is the best guy for pure offense. Even Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins are not as mature as Dougie McBuckets is when it comes to scoring opportunities. The Creighton product averaged 26.7 PPG last season for his college squad, good enough for best in the NCAA. It also led him to being awarded the Wooden Award.
McDermott gives whoever drafts him a for sure go-to weapon on offense. Whether that is a number one option or a number three option is yet to be determined.
McDermott had, according to DraftExpress’s mock draft, the highest PER (player efficiency rating) of all 60 prospects. That makes a huge difference in the mind of NBA general managers. Internationalsportshub.com’s Hank Stichter said the following about McDermott’s efficiency:
Dougie McBuckets, as some call him, earned that nickname by three straight 20+ ppg scoring seasons, all in which he shot well over 50%. He doesn’t force shots and it shows, but he still has the IQ to figure out how to score even when he is tightly guarded.
McDermott shot 52.6 percent from the field last season, so that figure is obviously attractive to most teams drafting for offense this year.
Having a guy who you can count on to create and make shots is a luxury that will draw teams toward Doug McDermott.
Three Point Shooting:
The final part of McDermott’s game that makes him an attractive prospect at number nine is his ability to kill it from range. McDermott shot 40.2, 48.6,49.0, and 44.5 percent from downtown in each of his seasons at Creighton, respectively.
McDermott is one of the best overall shooters in the draft, competing with Nik Stauskas and Gary Harris for the top three point shooter label.
While McDermott is a great offensive prospect, he does have one key weakness. He averaged just 1.6 assists per game his junior/senior years at Creighton, and that figure was even lower in his freshman and sophomore years.
Adding a guy who could possibly get sticky with the ball and try to do it all for the offense may not be the thing that GMs want from their draft pick. If McDermott can’t adjust to not being the number one option on offense, of which he was in his time at Creighton, he turns into a huge liabilty.
Nobody wants another Jimmer Fredette situation, do they?
Position / Athleticism:
McDermott stands at 6’8″ and 218 lbs. While those figures are good for an NBA prospect, they also provide some risk for the team drafting him. McDermott is a big guy who’s athleticism is not on par with fellow prospects like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker or other notable small forwards in the association like Rudy Gay, Carmelo Anthony, and especially LeBron James.
McDermott would struggle mightily at the small forward position, frantically trying to guard those guys. If he was plugged in at power forward, he would easily be bullied by guys like David West, Chris Bosh, and Taj Gibson in the eastern conference.
His position really depends on his athleticism, so he leaves teams with a huge question mark as to where he would plug into their lineups.
How He fits in Charlotte:
McDermott has his risks, but he ultimately gives Charlotte a weapon they have never had – a deadeye shooter.
Even if McDermott was relegated into a bench role or just a spot up shooter at the small forward position, he still manages to stretch the floor for Kemba Walker and big Al Jefferson. He is a huge upgrade over the disappointing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and would actually give Charlotte 5 starters who can play offense.
His three point shooting would compliment Gary Neal’s skills nicely, giving Charlotte true weapons on the perimeter.
If Charlotte holds on to MKG, then the position issue would be easily fixed by playing MKG on stars like Melo and LBJ and playing McDermott on less athletic forwards like Danilo Gallinari. Also, Steve Clifford would likely be able to fix McDermott’s inability to pass the ball in the first few practices, as Clifford is all about ball movement.
Overall, McDermott is a great fit in Charlotte and his pros greatly outweigh his cons. Still, his risks are sizeable, and I’m not sure if GM Rich Cho or owner Michael Jordan would be willing to use their sole lottery pick on such a risky product.
Stats and numbers via DraftExpress