9 days left. In 9 days, we will have at least a clearer picture of what the future holds for the Celtics. Until then, all we can do is look at players who might be joining the Celtics, but with all the Love rumors gaining momentum again, who knows, maybe this post is reviewing a future Timberwolf?
Anyway, here is Doug McDermott's scouting video by Draft Express, if you are not one for words:
There are two things that come to my mind when I hear his name: First off, scoring. The guy is 5th on All-Time NCAA Scoring List, he's the 2014 scoring champion and his shooting percentage is quite impressive. Look at his career averages: 5%5 FG, 45.8% 3PT (though it should also be noted that his percentages decreased through his career as his attempts increased) For comparison, let's look at another Creighton guy who I'm sure everyone is familiar with: Kyle Korver had career averages of 46.8% FG, 45.3% 3PT. There's no doubt that McDermott will score for any team that gets him. It's not just stats, he has technique right too, and he can spot up, shoot off screens, off the dribble. As you can see in the video above right around 2:38 mark, he even has the Dirk Nowitzki fadeaway shot in his pocket too! He's NBA ready in that regard.
Another important thing to note, and I believe that is something that can only be taught to a certain extent, is his mentality. As you might remember, McDermott got the Larry Bird SI cover treatment earlier this season, which have not pleased many Celtics fans. When asked about it, he had all the right things to say: "I thought they were crazy. I didn’t want to disrespect Larry like that. I’m glad that I was the one chosen to be able to do that, but obviously there’s never going to be another Larry Bird." And not just the Bird cover, he paid great respect to the Celtics history and showed quite clear signs of maturity (that may be isn't surprising given that he spent four years in college) He has apparently earned Tommy points before even donning a green jersey.
It should also be noted that McDermott is also a good rebounder as he grabbed 19.8% of all defensive rebounds available (14.5% TRB). So what is not to like about this guy? Well, his physique and athleticism is not the best. He measured "6-6 ¼ without shoes, 218 pounds and an average 6-9 ¼ wingspan" according to DraftExpress, which means McDermott is a shorter Tobias Harris in that regard. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, but it means he probably won't be able to play at number 4, and his ceiling in the NBA might be lower than what his college stats indicate.
Another question mark about McDermott is his defensive skills. There's no doubt that he is a hustle player, he gives all the effort out there and due to his high basketball IQ, he is a good team defender. Yet again, his physique brings up a question mark as to whether he will be able to contain the "ahletic wing player" dominated NBA. McDermott will most probably not turn into a defensive liability, but then again he might not be the player that some teams need and want. His career will likely be shaped by the role his team assigns him.
Now, are the Celtics that team? It's not a secret that the Celtics would love a capable scorer at a cheap price, but the #6 pick seems to be high for McDermott given the question marks around him, and it's quite unlikely that he would fall down to mid-15s. If you believe that a team should pick based on talent, there are more talented players on the board at #6. If you believe a team should pick based on needs, the Celtics have more urgent needs, and if the Celtics are going to be persistent in their chase of Love, someone with questionable perimeter defense is not the perfect choice. If the Celtics will be stuck with Jeff Green's contract for two more years, the Celtics might not offer McDermott the best of situations.
In any case, McDermott is guaranteed to become a very good NBA player, or at least a very useful role player. But for the reasons explained above, I do not think the Celtics will be his first stop in the NBA. However, I do see him donning a Celtics jersey some day in the future if shape of things change as he has the right mindset to be a Celtic.
All stats via Basketball-Reference, h/t Draft Express, Baxter Holmes and Jay King for their reports and analyses.
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