Are you getting tired of draft speculation yet? With just under a month until the 2014 NBA Draft there is still plenty of time to analyze and discuss every single pick. Today, we find ourselves at the 12th selection, owned by the Orlando Magic.
Orlando, who also hold the fourth overall pick, received the New York Knicks’ first-round pick in the infamous Dwight Howard trade. Luckily for Orlando, New York found themselves in a season of mediocrity, and that draft pick developed into the 12th overall selection.
The Magic have several holes on their below .500 roster, but finding a solid power forward should be near the top of their shopping list this summer. Second-year big man Andrew Nicholson actually regressed from his rookie season, and Orlando is in dire need of finding someone to take some minutes from him. That man could be Doug McDermott from Creighton.
McDermott, a 6’8″ combo forward, was one of the best players in all of the NCAA last season and one of the best scorers in the history of college basketball. He comes into his rookie season looking like one of the most NBA-ready prospects, and despite being slightly undersized, could fill that role of power forward for Orlando.
While Doug could just be a big body that could fit into a position of need for Orlando, he also contributes to a few key areas of need aside from the power forward spot. Namely, offensive efficiency. If you look up “efficiency” in the dictionary, there is a good chance you would find a picture of Doug McDermott sitting next to it. He boasted a .526 field goal percentage his senior season, as well as shooting .449 from behind the arc. On the flip side, Orlando doesn’t match those numbers. In 2013-14, they posted a 101.7 offensive rating (29th in the league). From a percentage point of view, they shot .445 as a team (21st in the league) and .353 from behind the arc (21st in the league as well).
At Creighton, Doug averaged 7.0 rebounds as a senior. While those aren’t elite numbers by any means, they’re not too bad either. McDermott thrives on the outside, but he has an excellent knack of getting into the paint on offense. If he’s in the paint, he can find his way to rebounds. Like most major statistics, Orlando was near the bottom in rebounding as well. They sat at 21st in the league, despite having top notch rebounder Nikola Vucevic playing for them. McDermott may never average double-digit rebounds, but he could probably produce more than Andrew Nicholson.
McDermott is the type of guy who can step in his rookie season and immediately raise all four of those statistics. While Orlando has the chance to grab an elite prospect at four (Dante Exum, Julius Randle, etc.), McDermott might be able to have the most impact his first season. McDermott is pegged to go late top 10 in the draft, so seeing him fall to 12 could be a stretch, but a huge gift for the Magic.