The Case for Doug McDermott

Doug McDermottNow that the NBA Draft Lottery has come and gone, and while us fans get over the shock of Cleveland landing it’s third #1 overall pick in the past four years (the NBA gives Dan Gilbert yet another gift for losing LeBron, and another young player to entice him to return), the mock drafts are out and as a Lakers fan I’m pondering who should they take with the #7 overall selection. We know the names that could be in play at #7: Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle, Noah Vonleh, Marcus Smart, Dante Exum possibly falling if his agent (Rob Pelinka who also represents Kobe) plays hardball, but a player that I like and I think would be a fine addition to the Lakers squad is Creighton small forward Doug McDermott.

McDermott, who played for his father at Creighton, is an elite shooter who also proved at the recent NBA Draft Combine that he has enough athletic talent to hang with the big boys in the NBA. His 36.5 inch vertical was #18 overall out of the 60 athletes that participated in the combine, and his agility drills had him ranked in the top 15 out of the 60 prospects that worked out. While he is not an elite athlete, the Iowa native, is an excellent shooter, has a deep range on his three point shot, works hard, and since he is the son of a coach he has a high basketball I.Q. The knock on McDermott is that while he is 6’8″ he is a bit of a tweener. He may not be fast enough to defend small forwards in the NBA, and he may not be strong enough to defend the power forwards.

However, how can you not love a guy that was proven at the college level? He’s the consensus National Player of the Year this past season, a 3 time All-American, NCAA scoring champion, and the Big East Player of the Year this past season. This year was the first edition of the new Big East, and some people didn’t think Creighton could hang with the traditional powers of Georgetown, St. John’s, Villanova, Marquette etc… Some critics expected that the tough hard nose ball of the Big East would beat up on the shooter, but McDermott handled it with ease as Creighton finished as the runner up to regular season champion Villanova, and to tournament champion, Providence.

To be honest McDermott reminds me a lot of Stephen Curry. Why? Coming out of college I didn’t think Curry had the goods. Despite being Dell’s son and a great shooter, I didn’t think Curry had the athleticism to handle the pro game. Boy did he prove me wrong! I went from destroying his prospects on a website that I will not name, to eating crow on that same website months later. I feel McDermott will do the same with whatever team he lands with.Lakers

So why do I like him for the Lakers? While the Lakers do not have a head coach, so they don’t know what offense they will execute, and while many analysts believe that whoever the Lakers draft at #7 will eventually be traded for a veteran, I think McDermott would be perfect playing alongside Kobe. I can’t see Doug being turned off, or becoming a shrunken violet next to Kobe’s demanding personality. I  also think his shooting ability, his intellectual ability, and being a gym rat would be more endearing to Kobe than some of the other selections being mentioned with the #7 pick. For some reason I can’t see Kobe wanting to kick Doug’s ass because Doug isn’t as dedicated to the game as he is. Also, the Lakers really need shooters. Ryan Kelly was a revelation as a 2nd round pick of the team last season, but beyond him the team really doesn’t have any consistent shooters. Adding another big man that can stretch the floor (Ryan is 6’11”) would only help Kobe out in this stage of the game. If Kobe sucks in defenders, he can kick it out to one of the big men. If the defenders focus in on McDermott and Kelly, Kobe can take it to the hole.

I may be wrong, and I welcome the arguments for and against McDermott, but I can’t help but imagine that McDermott’s #3 jersey would look excellent in Purple and Gold.

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About Earl (EJ) Brewster 284 Articles
Born, raised, and still reside in Brooklyn, New York. I'm in my mid 30's, and I love sports, music, politics, and blogging about real life. You can find me on Twitter at @EJ_Brooklyn_Own

13 Comments

  1. I don’t disagree with you at all. Thankfully Nash is off the books after next season, but I agree Kobe’s contract is more of a hinderance than a help. I understand rewarding him for his service to the franchise but the amount of his deal does kill the chances of any significant rebuild.

  2. Agreed. His “winning attitude” doesn’t help. He’ll have to suck it up and realize they are in a rebuild and won’t win another title before he retires. His best chance is to be traded.

  3. I’d be happy if Kobe does win #6 but to go from 27 wins to a title in a year or two is a huge stretch. However I can’t see the Buss family parting with Kobe. He’s a Laker for life. He’ll just be a title short of Jordan is all.

  4. McDermott wouldn’t be awful, although I hear he’s more in the 10-15 range. I guess it depends on who is available at 7. If Exum falls there, I can’t see them passing on him. And Vonleh has the chance to be a really good defender and rebounder.

    Good blog, EJ. As usual.

  5. 7 isn’t far from 10. All things considering. I respect your opinion but it’s pretty lazy to compare him to two white guys.

  6. The Lakers would be crazy to use the seventh pick on McBuckets.

    I love McDermott and I hope he succeeds, but he’s not going to. McDermott is a complimentary piece and can only be successful in certain situations, say like San Antonio with the 30th overall pick (by which time McDermott might still be available. Unlikely but possible) but a lottery team would be insane to waste a high pick on him.

    He can’t create shots for himself or his teammates and he can’t run the ball, defend or rebound well. He isn’t gonna make his teammates better in any way and that’s just not good enough for a lottery pick.

    Not to mention, any lottery team wanting McBuckets could always trade down out of the lottery and end up with McDermott PLUS either another player or another pick.

    Long story short there is zero chance LA takes McDermott with the seventh pick, nor should they.

  7. Also I’m not seeing the McDermott/Steph Curry comparison at all. Steph is in a whole different league as a shooter plus he can play point and make his teammates better. He’s also more than capable of creating his own shot repeatedly and with success.

    McDermott does none of those things, and actually will require playing with a player like Curry simply to get good looks at the basket.

    Now that you mention it, the Warriors might be another decent landing spot for McBuckets, since there are plenty of players already in place who can create shots for extremely limited athletes like McDermott.

  8. I read that article too, where Doug said he wished someone could compare him to a black player and even tossed out Antawn Jamison’s name.

    Thing is, McDermott is nothing like Jamison. He is, however, pretty similar to Korver.

    The white angle is merely coincidence, not laziness.

  9. Didn’t mean to compare their games. If it came off that way it wasn’t my intent. What I was trying to say is that I was wrong on Curry because I didn’t think he had the goods, and I used to think the same of McDermott.

    Thanks for reading though. Appreciate all of your comments.

  10. McDermott actually translates to the 10-15 range. From what I’ve seen in the mock drafts. But, if he blows up like he could it would be a bargain at 7. And he reminds me a lot of Wally Szczerbiak.At worst he is Kyle Korver, I just don’t see the Adam Morrison comparisons some people have made on sites like FN.

  11. I don’t know. It always seems like a white player is compared to a white player. While I agree McDermott isn’t Jamison, there isn’t another black player he can be compared to? Do we always have to compare like to like?

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