San Antonio Spurs: Grading the Doug McDermott deal
By Kyle Forson
Get that billboard ready San Antonio Spurs, the McDermott Freeway is open for business.
In what was arguably the wildest free agency opening day in Spurs history, the Silver and Black shook up the Alamo City with a barrage of free agency signings and key departures. And it all started with Douglas Richard McDermott coming to town. What grade do the Spurs deserve for this move specifically? Oh, the opinions vary, widely -- and that is an understatement. Opinions aside, except mine of course, let's break out the old red pen and determine what grade the Spurs truly deserve for landing 7-year NBA veteran Doug McDermott.
First and foremost, we need to all understand that Doug McDermott loves the San Antonio Spurs and has for a good while. In 2014 while playing for the Creighton Blue Jays, McDermott made it known he one day hoped to don the Silver and Black. The March Madness second and third rounds were held in San Antonio at the AT&T Center that year.
McDermott dropped 30 points in a round one victory over Louisiana – Lafayette and during that postgame press conference was questioned about his upcoming NBA Career. Then, he made it clear that he would love to play for his favorite team, the San Antonio Spurs.
McDermott wanted to be in San Antonio seven years ago, and he still does now. As a Spurs fan, San Antonio citizen, or anyone associated with the Spurs franchise, you capitalize on signing players who, in all their heart, want to land in small-market San Antonio and are a caliber of player who can help you win. Doug McDermott is both of those things.
Let me be clear -- Doug McDermott can ball. He is a lights-out 3-point threat. Last season, he shot almost 40% from downtown with the Indiana Pacers. When you have guards who love to slash and cut to the rim like Dejounte Murray, a deep ball threat like McDermott opens those swim lanes up.
This is something the Spurs did not have last year -- at least not in the consistent form in which McDermott provides. With this newfound open spacing, the Spurs' young guns now have opportunities for highlight-reel dunks which were few and far between in past seasons. Attacking the rim is something that Doug can do and does do better than the average NBA player. This portion of his game is often overlooked because of how strong he is from beyond the arch.
The value for McDermott is also on point. Now, I'm not the money guy, but I do know this: The Spurs did not overpay for a badly needed perimeter threat. Doug got paid, sure, and rightfully so. And at the same time, San Antonio was able to afford to add other pieces to this new youthful puzzle of a roster.
At 29 years old, McDermott is the third-oldest player on the team. At the ripe age of 29, he has plenty of time to fulfill his role as a 3-point specialist while also serving as a replacement for a veteran leadership role the Spurs saw exit this week. Not to mention he can start or come off the bench depending on what lineup the Spurs go with.
In evaluating any free agency gain or loss, I like to keep things simple, and simplicity for the Doug McDermott signing looks like this:
Doug McDermott is an elite 3-point shooter playing in the best league worldwide.
Doug McDermott did not break the bank and is a young veteran who can lead in the vet role.
Doug McDermott is a San Antonio Spur, just like he always wanted to be.