Doug McDermott is the New Peja Stojakovic for the Dallas Mavericks
By Isaac Harris
Rick Carlisle knew what to do with a 33-year-old Peja Stojakovic in 2011. Now he has a newer version in Doug McDermott in 2018.
In the last few hours before the trade deadline, the Dallas Mavericks traded Devin Harris in a three team trade that landed them a second round pick and Doug McDermott.
For the expiring contract of a 34-year-old Harris, some would think a second round pick was a solid return. But getting the soon-to-be restricted free agent in Doug McDermott was the most valued asset in the deal.
After Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle sang their praise for the 26-year-old McDermott over the past couple of days, one thing is very clear; these next two months will be a trial period for McDermott to show the organization what he has heading into free agency.
With McDermott joining his fourth team in four years in the league, he hasn’t found his spot in the league quite yet. But in Carlisle’s free-flowing offensive system and his plan to try McDermott out at the four spot, McDermott’s career could take off in Dallas.
He could be their 2018 version of Peja Stojakovic.
McDermott- 6’8″ 225 pounds
Stojakovic- 6’8″ 220 pounds
As far as their physical frame, there isn’t much difference between the two as both have size to play the three and the four positions. Even though Stojakovic played three the majority of his career, he would probably get a lot of time at the four if he played in this current NBA era.
Let’s take a look at his time in New Orleans during the 2007-08 season.
The Hornets had two bigs with David West and Tyson Chandler up front and a sharpshooting two guard in Morris Peterson on the wing. At the point guard spot was an explosive, third year guard by the name of Chris Paul.
Stojakovic helped spread the floor for Chris Paul to work in the lane and as a result, hit ten three pointers in this game highlighted above. You even saw a play where Stojakovic took his defender to the post and shot right over him using his 6’8″ frame.
That season in New Orleans, Stojakovic averaged 16 points and four rebounds while shooting 44% from three on 6.8 three-point attempts a game.
Armed with his own explosive point guard that can get into the paint at will in Dennis Smith Jr., could McDermott put up this stat line in a season for the Dallas Mavericks under Rick Carlisle?
I believe so.
Before his first game in Dallas, McDermott spoke with the media where he shared his excitement in playing for the Mavericks in a system that finally allows him to shoot three pointers. Something that is obviously his strong suite.
After stops in offensive systems like New York, Oklahoma City, and Chicago, McDermott is averaging just 2.7 threes a game on 39% shooting. Now, he comes to Dallas to a system that focuses on movement off the ball, three-point attempts (third in the league), and an explosive rookie point guard that demands defensive attention.
In the 2015-16 season where McDermott averaged 10 points in 44 games for the Chicago Bulls with Rajon Rondo at point guard, McDermott’s per 36 numbers were right at 15 points a game on five three-point attempts per game.
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McDermott probably won’t be getting 36 minutes a night in Dallas, but even if he averages 25-30 minutes a night, getting up six threes a game and averaging 16-18 points a game is very doable.
McDermott is obviously more athletic than Stojakovic, especially compared to Peja in the 2007-08 season when he was 30 years old, but don’t sleep on the career of Stojakovic. Comparing McDermott to Peja is no disservice to the young wing out of Creighton.
Stojakovic played 13 years in the NBA and was a three-time All-Star during his time in Sacramento. He was an integral part of that early 2000’s Kings team that made multiple postseason runs.
Don’t forget his time in Dallas also.
In the 2010-11 season, Stojakovic was waived by the Toronto Raptors in January of 2011 only to be picked up by the Mavericks to booster the bench come the playoffs. He would appear in the final 33 games of the season for Dallas and provided a much-needed spark in the postseason that led to the one and only championship in Dallas Mavericks history.
Even at the age of 33, Rick Carlisle knew how to use Stojakovic in his offense.
Next: Mavericks Set to Embrace Youth Movement Down the Stretch
Imagine what he can do with the more athletic, sharp-shooting 26-year-old Doug McDermott.