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NBA Trade Deadline 2018: Doug McDermott fills a need for the Mavericks

Deadlines, deals and Dougie McBuckets. The Mavericks get a wing.

New York Knicks vs New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

With about one hour left before the trade deadline clock expired, it seemed Dallas would stand pat, with no offers piquing their interest enough to make a deal.

And then:

Doug McDermott is the definition of journeyman. After a prolific college campaign, McDermott was drafted No. 11 overall in the 2014 draft and acquired by the Chicago Bulls on a draft night trade. He spent two seasons in the Windy City before being swapped in a deadline deal last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. After half a season in Oklahoma City, McDermott was a part of the package sent to New York to fetch Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks.

In four seasons, McDermott has averaged 7.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 20 minutes per game, while shooting 39 percent from deep.


At this point in his career, it’s pointless to think that McDermott will find the mojo that earned him the national player of the year award when he led college basketball in scoring and the Dougie McBuckets nickname. But as a career 39 percent three-point shooter, McBuckets certainly has the stroke to space the floor in Dallas.

McDermott is especially effective spotting up. This season he’s shooting 41 percent from deep on catch-and-shoot threes. He’s also scoring a respectable 1.12 points per possession on spot-up shots. But McDermott isn’t relegated to spot ups only. He’s an instinctive cutter and can naturally find open spots on the floor. McDermott’s playing time has decreased over the season, but early on, double-digit scoring nights were not out of the ordinary.


While McDermott is good at spacing the floor with his shooting, he really doesn’t bring much else to the table. He hardly creates for his teammates outside of his floor spacing. He’s not very good off the dribble. When forced to put the ball on the floor, his shooting percentages plummet. McDermott has the prototypical size for an NBA wing at 6-feet, 8-inches, but he doesn’t rebound the ball effectively. He’s averaging a little over two rebounds per game and only grabs about six percent of the available boards when he’s on the floor. And even though he’s not a defensive liability on the floor due to his basketball smarts, his athletic limitations prevent him from making any real impact defensively.

How does he fit?

This is where the trade is interesting. The Mavericks had a glut of guards, so while it was hard to trade a player like Devin Harris, ultimately he was expendable. McDermott, on the other hand, fills a gaping hole on this roster with his position and age. At 26-years-old with the majority of his NBA career ahead of him, he immediately slides in as a true three with Harrison Barnes primarily playing the four and Dorian Finney-Smith still on the shelf. Most of McDermott’s shots come right at the rim (35 percent) or from behind the arc (42 percent), so there shouldn’t be any issues with his game clashing with Barnes’ or occupying any of his space.

McDermott will become a free agent at the end of the season, so the Mavericks are not married to him by any means. If things don’t work out, the two parties can part ways with no ramifications. But if McDermott proves to be a long-range sniper and provide some much needed length, the Mavericks could elect to sign him to a fairly cheap deal in the offseason.