Drafted by: Denver Nuggets, No. 11 overall
Height/Weight: 6'8", 218 lbs
Age: 22 years old
Projected NBA Position: Small Forward
Pro Comparison: Wally Szczerbiak
Twitter Handle: @dougmcd3
While he was busy racking up points at Creighton and shattering all sorts of records for four years, Doug McDermott inevitably caught the attention of NBA scouts and earned a strong draft stock.
The fifth-leading scorer in NCAA Division-I history is the most polished player in the 2014 draft, as he can score from any angle using brilliant footwork and a smooth, quick jumper.
He turned down prior opportunities to leave school early and turn pro, and he ended up boosting his draft stock amid a loaded class.
McDermott's not an overwhelming athlete or a towering physical presence, but his skill set makes him a valuable small forward and a dependable shooting asset.
|Statistics at Creighton|
McDermott isn't an imposing physical specimen for a forward, as he stands 6'6.25" in socks. At 6'9.25", his wingspan isn't long enough to consistently compete with 4s in the Association, which means he'll primarily be a small forward.
The good news, however, is that he's not as sluggish athletically as some might think. His 36.5-inch vertical leap and decent lateral quickness should help him create and make buckets and survive on the other end of the floor.
McDermott's physical tools won't make him a great defender, but his energy and effort within a team system should help compensate.
Shooting Skills and Deep Range
Out of all the prospects in the 2014 draft class, McDermott is the one who showcased the deepest shooting range in college.
The guy can flat-out bury any shot. He's got a quick, fluid delivery that allows him to shoot in tight spaces and fire away in front of closeouts.
McDermott is a deadly catch-and-shoot weapon, as he finds the openings in the defense and gets set with great footwork and shoulders squared. He can also connect off the dribble, but that's more for mid-range scores, which we'll discuss below.
Scoring Skills and Footwork
McDermott can do more than hit triples, as he's got a great feel for scoring from any spot on the floor.
He can get defenders to bite on pump-fakes, and then he's capable of one or two dribbles for a bucket off the glass. In the mid-range, he's extremely dangerous with an assortment of step-backs and Dirk Nowitzki-esque fadeaways.
Although he won't operate in the low post much at all in the NBA, his collegiate post-up experience will allow him to thrive in the mid-post against favorable matchups.
Feel for the Game and Competitiveness
Where McDermott lacks in explosiveness or imposing size, he makes up for with a tremendous feel for the game.
He knows how to exploit the most subtle weaknesses in defenders, and he exhibits impeccable timing and understanding of five-on-five concepts. McDermott knows when to cut, where to cut and when to deliver accurate passes to teammates.
In addition, you're not going to find a better competitor. He works hard every game to gain an edge, and although he's an underwhelming defender, he hustles and maximizes his tools.
While McDermott posted a nice vertical leap at the combine, explosiveness and quickness remain his biggest question marks entering the NBA.
Will he really be able to elevate and finish among the trees? Can he stay in front of slashing small forwards? We can't confidently answer those questions until he at least plays some summer ball.
Closely related to this concern is his size. McDermott's relatively modest stature pretty much eliminates the possibility of him competing regularly against power forwards in the NBA.
Consequently, the questions about speed and explosiveness are all the more paramount, as he'll spend most of his time at the 3.
McDermott could give an NBA team quality minutes at the small forward position tonight if they needed him. That should illustrate how polished he is and how mentally prepared he is for the next level.
Depending on his squad's rotation and lineup, he could be a productive sixth man. He will stretch the defense with spot-up shooting and execute the occasional slash or step-back jumper.
When we give McDermott even more time to adjust to the speed and length of pro ball, he'll learn how to deal with it and maximize his skills and footwork.
In a film breakdown that assessed his capabilities against NBA-caliber size, Draft Express video analyst Mike Schmitz concluded that Creighton's star is quite resourceful and proficient: "Overall, he does a good job countering his limitations with craftiness."
His ideal long-term outlook could include a starting role, as he could serve as the third or fourth scoring option on his unit. McDermott's style of play would look a lot like a blend of Wally Szczerbiak and Tracy Murray, who used quick shooting strokes and sharp awareness to capitalize on every scoring chance.
Don't hold your hopes up for stardom; however, Dougie McBuckets could carve out a key role in the league.