It’s not the big splash of Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Love, but the Bulls’ acquisition of Creighton star Doug McDermott helps address the team’s desire to improve its woeful outside shooting.
The Bulls traded the 16th and 19th picks in Thursday night's NBA Draft to Denver for the rights to McDermott, the 11th overall selection, and reserve forward Anthony Randolph. The Nuggets drafted Bosnian center Jusuf Nurkic at No. 16 and Michigan State shooting guard Gary Harris with the 19th pick.
[MORE: Bulls trade for Doug McDermott]
The 6-foot-8 small forward, college basketball’s fifth all-time leading scorer and the national player of the year last season, is a lights-out three-point shooter and as a four-year college player, is expected to be able to contribute from the outset of his career. While McDermott, who averaged an NCAA-best 26.7 points per game as a senior, is also capable of posting up smaller defenders and helping out on the glass, he excels as a spot-up shooter and moving without the ball, making him a good fit alongside both former league MVP Derrick Rose and playmaking All-Star center Joakim Noah.
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McDermott, who had over 3,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in his college career, does have his flaws, however, as he isn’t the most athletic player or an accomplished defender, though the latter can be mitigated by Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau’s vaunted defensive scheme. The trade, which had been rumored in the last week heading into the draft, gives the Bulls just one rookie contract next season, something that’s ideal for the organization, particularly given the fact that Thibodeau is often hesitant to play young players, though the son of Creighton head coach Greg McDermottt's maturity and polish should ensure that the three-time consensus All-American’s gets solid minutes as a rookie.
Since McDermott is capable of being a rotation player right away, the move makes veteran sharpshooter Mike Dunleavy Jr. and his very trade-friendly contract expendable, especially as free agency and the pursuit of Carmelo Anthony approaches.