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INDIANAPOLIS – Doug McDermott’s greatest weapon matches the Pacers’ greatest desire this offseason.
McDermott, 26, will now get the opportunity to do what he does best after agreeing to a 3-year, $22 million dollar, fully guaranteed, deal with the Pacers at the start of free agency early Sunday morning.
Since being taken 11th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, McDermott has bounced around with 4 teams in the NBA (Chicago, Oklahoma City, New York and Dallas). In OKC, McDermott played with Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis for a brief stint.
He’s averaged 7.9 points, 2.3 rebounds in his career, while knocking home 40.3 percent of his three-point attempts. Like he will be used in Indiana, McDermott has primarily been a reserve (13 career starts)
Expect McDermott, who stands 6-8 and weighs 225 pounds, to backup Bojan Bogdanovic at the wing.
The wing defense issue for the Pacers won’t be solved with McDermott though and neither will be finding an individual creator for the second unit.
But McDermott will definitely keep the floor spread. In his latest stop with the Mavericks, McDermott knocked home 49.6 percent of his threes (in 26 games to close out last season).
The strengths and weaknesses of McDermott are pretty clear.
He’s a clear catch and shoot threat from behind the arc. Plus, at 6-8, he can get his shot off over smaller defenders, while also being a capable cutter off the ball. However, he’s not doing much off the dribble and isn’t known for his on-ball defense against NBA wings.
Heading into the summer, the Pacers made it abundantly clear that they wanted to add more shooting around Victor Oladipo, calling it ‘paramount’ looking ahead to the future construction of this team.
Kevin Pritchard often referenced how the Cavaliers built a team around LeBron James to find success.
“With Victor, you have 1 player with the ball and 4 others who can hit shots, (that’s) impossible to guard,” Pritchard said.
“The last 4 minutes you have a real playmaker, which for us is Victor, and then they put out 4 guys that can just shoot the heck out of the ball and they spread you out and force you into a switch and now your best player is going against their weakest defender out there, with 4 shooters.”
Finding back-up minutes on the wing was something necessary for the Pacers this offseason. Indiana was often sliding Lance Stephenson or Cory Joseph out of position last season when trying to plug minutes behind Bojan Bogdanovic. With Glenn Robinson III a free agent this summer, the Pacers had a definite hole behind Bogey.
With McDermott signing a 3-year contract, he’s one of the few Pacers now on the books past next summer.
It’s clear Indiana views him as a key rotational piece moving forward as they try to build an Eastern Conference contender.
It was reported that the Pacers had their sights first set on Denver guard Will Barton, another solid shooter, in free agency. But with Barton and Denver looking like they were going to re-up, Indiana had to move on to another plan.
The McDermott addition still allows for the Pacers to make another (medium-level) free agent signing this summer.
Lance Stephenson’s void as more of a back-up shooting guard remains unfilled.
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