NBA Position: SF, played PF in college
General Information: 22year old senior, played at Creighton. From Ames, Iowa.
Measurables: 6'7.75" (in shoes), 218 lbs, 6'9.25" wingspan, 8'7" standing reach
2013-14 Season Statistics: 26.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.6 APG, 0.2 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 1.7 TOPG (33.7 Minutes per contest) - 52.6% FG, 86.4% FT, 44.9% 3FG, 64.4% TSP
Summary: McDermott is one of the draft classes most successful players, but is also one of the more controversial ones. He leaves Creighton after a remarkable career, finishing as the 5th best scorer in NCAA history. He's a fantastically gifted shooter and a crafty scorer, but will be limited in the NBA due to a lack of size or great explosiveness.
Offensive Breakdown: McDermott is arguably the classes best scorer, at least at this point in their careers. He posted insane numbers (26.7 points per game, 31.6 points per 40 minutes) and insane efficiency (52.6% field goal, 44.9% three pointers and 64.4% true shooting percentage). One of the more underappreciated stats for McDermott-for a player who handled the ball as much as he did (36.2% usage rate), he only had 1.7 turnovers at a 7.9% turnover rate. That was a serious improvement from his junior year, where he averaged 2.6 turnovers a game.
His shooting touch reached elite levels in his senior year, and he has every trick in the book. He's comfortable with the catch-and-shoot, spotting up, coming off screens or pulling away with a very Dirk-Nowitzki-like one foot fadeaway. He's got an incredibly quick release on his shot, and that bodes well for his future when he faces off against taller and lengthier opponents. His shooting mechanics are picture perfect.
Surprisingly, McDermott took more shots at the rim (38%) the he did from three (30%). He was effective in the paint, showing great timing and a good understanding of how to catch defenders off balance. This won't be as effective in the NBA, as he isn't an above-the-rim player and won't find the same success in the post against players 2-3' inches taller than himself. Even if it isn't as effective, his spatial awareness in the paint and ability to attack off the dribble will keep him a dual-threat.
Make sure you watch DraftExpress' video breakdown on McDermott; if you didn't catch him in the past three years at Creighton, his shooting ability is hard to explain in text. He shoot good.
Defensive Breakdown: Fans point to McDermott's combine numbers as evidence that he'll be able to keep pace in the NBA; he had a max vertical of 36.5 and good three-quarter sprint (3.29 seconds) and agility test (11.1 seconds) numbers. Those numbers are indeed solid; more solid then I'd have guessed after watching him for the past three years. Still, he lacks the quick explosiveness OR the strength to be matched up with many NBA forwards.
The lack of size, reach or muscle will limit him. His ability to anticipate his opponents was a significant improvement from his junior year to his senior year, but often he was still too slow to react and close off their movements. While he'll be able to keep up with a good handful of small forwards in the open court, a lack of NBA level explosiveness/strength will limit him. He's a solidly athletic stretch Power Forward in the body of a short Small Forward.
It should also be pointed out that McDermott produced only 11 blocks and 34 steals in his four years at Creighton. His block rate (.5%) and steal rate (.4%) are the lowest of the draft class's forwards.
This isn't to say he's a terrible defender. He's a hard worker and showed improved defensive awareness; as long as he adds muscle to his tweener frame and continues to work at anticipating the offense, his defensive weaknesses are not something a team can't overcome. It will come down to his new NBA teammates; does his new squad have the players in place to compensate?
In college, McDermott was a good-not-great rebounder, finishing with 8.3 boards per 40 minutes and a 17.8% rebounding rate. If he bulks up, he should be an adequate defensive rebounder, although his lack of reach or explosiveness will be exposed against bigger NBA opponents.
Intangibles: McDermott is one of college basketball's most respected players for a reason. He's a hard worker who continued to improve every year, and never seemed to let his stardom effect how he handled himself or his teammates. For all his faults, he has the work ethic you want to see in any rookie. He has a great understanding of the offensive game, and showed improvement defensively over the past two seasons.
Fit with Sacramento: Regardless of what position he'd play, McDermott would help spread the floor in Sacramento and help draw defenders away from the paint. He'd be the Kings best shooter, and on a weak shooting team, that positive cannot be ignored. I have never been on the McDermott Sacramento bandwagon, but the offensive possibilities are fantastic.
My feelings on McDermott have remained the same over the past year: he will be a very good role player in this league, and remains locked into my top 12 thanks to his great offensive skills. However, his size and lack of true positioning on defense is a serious concern, especially given the Kings weaknesses in that area. As much as he'd help spread the floor on offense, I would not use a top 10 pick on a 6'7.75 forward not tall enough to guards fours or explosive enough to reliably guard threes when I have a poor defensive team to begin with. Fit is a huge key for McDermott's success, and I don't think that team is Sacramento.
If the Kings opted to move back into the 11-15 range, that is where McDermott becomes a top option in my opinion, especially if Sacramento added in further defensive help in the process. McDermott has an elite skill, and by all accounts he is a tough worker and a fiery competitor. He's a player all teams should be happy to add, but I would not select him with the 8th pick.