The one thing the Chicago Bulls needed to get out of the 2014 NBA Draft was shooting, and they came away with just that as they orchestrated a trade with the Denver Nuggets to acquire the 11th overall pick in draft in Creighton forward Doug McDermott.
McDermott, who won the National Player of the Year in college basketball last season, is regarded as one of the best shooters and scorers in the draft after he averaged 26.7 PPG last season, shooting 52 percent from the field and better than 45 percent from beyond the arc.
For a team that ranked last in the NBA in scoring last season without star point guard Derrick Rose, there wasn’t any player that would fit the Bulls better than a sharpshooter like McDermott. He can help the Bulls improve on their poor shooting percentages, which were among the lowest in the league.
There are questions about McDermott, particularly what position he will be play in the NBA as well as his ability to defend. He is not the greatest athlete, but head coach Tom Thibodeau is a defensive mastermind; if he can’t help McDermott become an adequate defender, he will find a way to hide him.
However, the Bulls’ problem hasn’t been with defense — it’s been with scoring. And in terms of pure scorers available Thursday night, few if any are better than McDermott.
In order to acquire the former Creighton star, the Bulls had to trade their 16th and 19th picks to the Nuggets, in addition to a 2015 second-round pick and taking back the contract of former first-round pick Anthony Randolph, who is owed $1.8 million next season.
It was a big price to pay, but when you are as close to championship contention as the Bulls believe they are, adding prospects isn’t going to get the job done. Chicago wanted to add a player who could contribute right away, and they got one in McDermott, a four-year player who is among the most NBA-ready players in this draft. He has limitations to be sure, but he can light up a scoreboard. Regardless of what else the Bulls do this offseason, he will have a big role in Chicago next season.