On Wednesday evening, the club announced the sharpshooting forward underwent an MRI and has a grade 3 ankle sprain that will likely sideline him for the rest of the 2021-22 season. It was yet another blow in a season in which he's already missed time for three separate knee issues, a tooth infection, health and safety protocols, and two ankle injuries.
Still, McDermott did well in the role he was signed by San Antonio to fulfill -- nail outside shots. Second in made threes to only Keldon Johnson (125) with 108, Doug was leading the team among rotation players in accuracy, burying 42.2%. He also did an excellent job of spacing the floor not only with his spot-up threes but his movement off the ball.
It's extremely unfortunate that McDermott's season will be ending so early, and he and the team are undoubtedly frustrated by the latest news. In a way, though, I think this will turn out better for the future of both sides.
While Doug McDermott fills a need, the Spurs need more
As well as Doug shoots the ball and helps the Spurs offensively, it became clear against teams like the Memphis Grizzlies that their biggest weakness stands at the four position. It's not really a knock on McDermott's game per se. He had a great year and would work well on a number of contending teams. He just can't be a starting power forward on a team severely lacking in switchable bigs capable of guarding the pick and roll.
McDermott's biggest weak point is his defense, and his 6-7 frame doesn't really allow him to keep up with the Jaren Jackson Jr's of the world. Before this injury even popped up, I think the writing was already on the wall that the Spurs needed to find some way to upgrade their power forward position this summer, whether it be through drafting, free agency acquisitions, or trade.
Much like they did with Derrick White, who was still very much a great player when he was traded, the Spurs would be wise to shop McDermott while he still has decent value as a knockdown shooter at age 30.
In another timeline, Doug could've been getting buckets for the San Antonio Spurs for years. Unfortunately, I don't think the stars aligned this time around.