Dallas Mavericks Finally Get Their Hands on Doug McDermott


The Dallas Mavericks finally got their hands on Doug McDermott and look to unlock his offensive potential in the NBA.

With the 11th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Denver Nuggets drafted Doug McDermott and immediately traded him to the Chicago Bulls in a deal for Gary Harris.

McDermott, coming out of Creighton after playing for his father as the head coach, entered the NBA with some prestigious college accolades under his belt. In 2014, McDermott won the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith Player of the Year Award.

After playing for the Bulls in his first two seasons in the league, McDermott went to OKC with Taj Gibson in a trade to help push the Thunder to the playoffs. This past summer, McDermott was traded with Enes Kanter in the deal that helped bring Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City.

Now, McDermott is in Dallas in an opportunity for him to prove himself before hitting restricted free agency.

“Doug is a really good young player that we are excited about working with for the next couple of months,” Mavericks General Manager Donnie Nelson said at his press conference after the trade deadline.

“There is an opportunity with him and that second round pick to start getting younger and more athletic.”

At the trade deadline, the Mavericks traded the expiring contract of Devin Harris for Doug McDermott and a second round pick. But McDermott wasn’t just a throw-in player for Dallas to get back in the deal with a draft pick.

"“Gives us the opportunity to take a look at a good young player that we were high on in Doug McDermott. We really feel that he has the chance to be a nice small forward in this league for a long period of time,” Nelson said."

Dallas was high on McDermott coming out of the draft in 2014, but that was the year Dallas didn’t own a draft pick due to the Rajon Rondo trade.

"“We liked Doug quite a bit. He is a really good young wing player that can make shots and make plays. Smart, great young man and the kind of guy we look to put in our locker room,” Nelson added."

“He has the right DNA. He is a young guy that has really good upside,” Nelson added.

McDermott came from the same hometown as Harrison Barnes and played on the same high school team as Barnes growing up. Pairing up with Barnes on the court again was something both of them were looking forward to.

But they both will have different roles in Dallas.

Barnes is on a max contract and one of the faces of the franchise while McDermott is still trying to prove himself in the league with his fourth team in four seasons. On why he hasn’t “worked out” in the league yet, Rick Carlisle believes it has a lot to do with position.

“To me it comes down to position,” Carlisle said before McDermott made his debut. “I think he has played mostly three in the NBA. I would like to get a look at him at the three and the four. I know he would be fine on offense at both of those positions. We will see how he can scramble around defensively.”

McDermott is 6’8″ tall and weighs roughly 225 pounds. Harrison Barnes shares almost the same body frame and played the four position last year a lot in Dallas. This is something Carlisle and the Mavericks intend to test out over the next couple months of the season.

In McDermott’s junior season at Creighton, he averaged just over four three-point attempts a game and connected at a rate of 49% that season. In his record-setting 2014 campaign at Creighton, he attempted just over six three pointers a game and connected at a 44% rate.

He was drafted as a knockdown shooter, but it hasn’t really translated to the NBA quite yet as he is shooting 39% for his career.

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“A lot of that is position,” Carlisle said. “He played four a lot in college, almost exclusively to my understanding. He has played almost exclusively at three in the NBA.”

Carlisle believes the position factor has had an impact on McDermott and that they want to try him at the four to try an unlock that elite shooting ability.

“That is why I think we have to look at it,” Carlisle said in regards to McDermott playing the four. “He is not a guy that is going to blow you away with brute strength. But a lot of the game is angles and if you are that good offensively, you can hold your own defensively too.”

This is the Mavericks new project.

At the press conference on Thursday, Nelson made it clear that the young guns would be playing down the stretch here in Dallas and that they have to see what they have on the roster. Tinkering with the versatility of McDermott falls directly into that category.

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McDermott gets two months to prove himself to the Mavericks and if Carlisle feels he can unlock him at the four, then McDermott could be a long-term piece of the puzzle.