The Chicago Bulls concluded the 2013-14 campaign as the top defensive team in the league, allowing 91.7 points per game. However, on the flip side of the coin, they were ranked last in scoring this season, averaging just 93.7 points per contest while shooting 42 percent from the field.
And as was the case going into the 2013 draft, the Bulls needed to add a player to the roster that could provide the team with some scoring punch.
So, with the 16th and 19th picks in the 2014 draft, the Bulls traded up to the No. 11 spot, which was held by the Denver Nuggets, and landed sharp-shooter Doug McDermott from Creighton.
Although McDermott compiled one of the most impressive resumes in collegiate history, does he has what it takes to be a solid addition for the Bulls? To answer this question, let’s a take a quick look at the tale of the tape.
One positive that McDermott brings to the table is his ability to score. In fact, McDermott accumulated 3,150 points during his four years at Creighton, which makes him the fifth all-time scorer in Division I history.
It should also be noted that McDermott led the nation in scoring last season with 26.7 points per game to go along with seven rebounds. He was the consensus national player of the year and he is one of three players in NCAA history to record more than 3,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
In addition to that, following his freshman year in which he averaged 14.9 points per game, McDermott scored at least 22 points per contest in the next three seasons—a remarkable accomplishment when taking into consideration that he was the focal point of Creighton’s offense.
|Season ||School ||Conf ||G ||MP ||FG% ||2P% ||3P% ||FT% ||TRB ||AST ||STL ||BLK ||TOV ||PF ||PTS |
|2010-11 ||Creighton ||MVC ||39 ||29.1 ||.525 ||.571 ||.405 ||.746 ||7.2 ||1.2 ||0.3 ||0.1 ||2.2 ||2.1 ||14.9 |
|2012-13 ||Creighton ||MVC ||36 ||31.6 ||.548 ||.573 ||.490 ||.875 ||7.7 ||1.6 ||0.2 ||0.1 ||2.6 ||1.6 ||23.2 |
|2011-12 ||Creighton ||MVC ||35 ||31.9 ||.601 ||.633 ||.486 ||.796 ||8.2 ||1.1 ||0.2 ||0.1 ||2.3 ||1.7 ||22.9 |
|2013-14 ||Creighton ||Big East ||35 ||33.7 ||.526 ||.567 ||.449 ||.864 ||7.0 ||1.6 ||0.2 ||0.1 ||1.8 ||1.9 ||26.7 |
|Career ||Creighton || ||145 ||31.5 ||.550 ||.587 ||.458 ||.831 ||7.5 ||1.3 ||0.2 ||0.1 ||2.2 ||1.8 ||21.7 |
Another great attribute that McDermott will bring to the Bulls is efficiency. During his senior year, McDermott connected on 53 percent of his attempts overall, including 45 percent from beyond the arc.
He also shot an impressive 51 percent from distance in transition and recorded a ridiculous 1.95 points per possession in catch-and-shoot situations when left unguarded, which was only 29 percent of the time, per Luke Winn of SI.com
. In other words, if you leave the guy open, he is going to make you pay.
Being that the Bulls converted just 33 percent of their attempts from the land of 3 last season, McDermott appears to be the perfect player that can help them raise that percentage to a respectable level.
But if you are under the assumption that McDermott is just a solid shooter, you would be incorrect.
Not only is McDermott capable of creating space to get off quality shots from the perimeter, he also has the ability to score around the rim as well. In fact, 25 percent of his scoring came from the low post, per Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times
With an uncanny ability to score from any spot on the floor, McDermott appears to be worth the two first-round picks the Bulls used to acquire him.
While McDermott is more than capable of delivering the goods from a scoring perspective, there are a few concerns about his game. For starters, he is not very athletic and his defense has room for improvement.
That sounds like a harsh assessment on the surface, but let me throw out an interesting stat to help prove my point.
According to Tyler Lashbrook of SB Nation
, McDermott played more than 4,500 minutes mostly at the power forward position, but his steal rate (0.4 percent) and block rate (0.5 percent) were dismal, to say the least. Although the way he played defense may have been by design, those numbers will have to improve tremendously if the Bulls opt to play him at the 4 spot.
Another potential area of concern for the Bulls is that McDermott was not as effective against opponents that featured NBA-sized frontcourts. The video clip below shows how he fared against teams such as Baylor, St. John’s and San Diego State.
What is also worth mentioning is that McDermott does not have the necessary quickness to defend the 3 spot, which could make him a liability on defense at both of the forward positions. And if McDermott hopes to see significant playing time during his rookie campaign, he will have to show that he is capable of being at least an average defender.
McDermott is a player who can score in a number of different ways. Whether it is in transition, the half court set, or even in the post against smaller players, he finds different ways to the put the ball in the basket.
And with regards to his reputation for being a poor defender, McDermott feels that his four years at Creighton has prepared him for the various defensive schemes he will see at the next level. But for those of us who may have lingering questions about whether McDermott is NBA-ready from a defensive standpoint, Tom Thibodeau offered this assessment of the Bulls’ draft pick, per Jon Greenberg of ESPN Chicago
If you’re just viewing him strictly as a shooter, you’re not casting him in the proper light. Because he’s a lot more than that. We think he’s a complete player. We think he’s capable of playing very good defense.
Now, if Thibodeau is willing to offer such praise about a player’s ability to defend, especially before he has played one minute in the NBA, then McDermott may be a more well-rounded player than most people give him credit for. That being said, the Bulls were more aggressive than usual in this draft, and as a result, they landed a player who has the pedigree to come in and produce right away.
While McDermott’s shortcomings on defense are a glaring concern for the time being, Thibodeau has become famous for turning players into above-average defenders, and I have the feeling this instance will be no exception.
Draft Grade: B
James Tillman is a Staff Writer for HoopsHabit.com and a sports contributor for Football Nation and Sports Kings/Pass The Pill. James is also a former Featured Sports Contributor for Yahoo! Contributor Network.