Finally, we begin the quarterfinals today in the tournament. For a new format to shake things up, we will have a persuasive argument for a prospect from James Plowright of TheLotteryMafia.com and myself. It should be interesting, and I do wonder who's side the readers will take.
With that all being said, lets get into the heavyweight bout that is our one seed, trade out for vet, versus the five seed in Doug McDermott. I took Doug McDermott in this argument, while James took trade out for vet.
James (Trade Out for Vet): I understand that both Chad Ford and Rick Bonnell have sources that say we a very high on McDermott, but If the choice was between selecting McDermott and trading for a vet, I think they opt for a trade.
Cho said in his pre-draft press conference that due to their unique situation of having a lottery pick, late first and mid second, coupled with a large amount of cap room, they have been getting a ton of calls. Cho spoke about having the opportunity to trade up, back or out of the draft entirely. There are nine teams without a first-round pick and eight teams with multiple firsts. This suggests it is highly likely there will be a lot of movement on draft night. We have already seen New York and New Orleans aggressively trying to acquire a first round pick. Like Cho said, these talks will become a lot more serious and intense next week with the draft approaching.
Obviously the success of trading out for a veteran is completely reliant on the deal, so how can I argue for something which is has such a large unknown? History my friends.
The Hornets organization has never really succeeded in the draft. Cho's draft history is sketchy at best, but his trades are pretty fantastic. Cho turned:
- Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston and the 19th pick into the seventh pick in the 2012 draft. Now what did we do with that pick? Select Bismack Biyombo. That wasn't the smartest move, but the actual deal to get the seventh pick was a stroke of genius.
Some vets that might be available are Aaron Afflalo, Taj Gibson, Al Horford and Greg Monroe (S&T). These are the names that have floated around as being somewhat available and the Hornets being interested in. On top of these, there will be some available players most people don't know are available. One example of that was Jrue Holiday being traded last year.
Trading for a veteran would also seem to fit the team for where they are in the overall process: a contending playoff team. It's no secret that playoff teams are more likely to do well. Who was the last playoff team to bring in three drafted rookies into training camp? That is pretty rare.
So, overall, I feel taking a veteran who is a known quantity is the better option over taking McDermott. Not that I think taking McDermott would be bad, but I feel a veteran could bring a little more to the table.
Doug is going to take time to adjust to the league and looks to be best suited in the sixth man role in the short term. If he eventually improved his defense, then he might break into the starting unit. Clifford has said numerous time that you start with your best defensive team and end with your best offensive spacing team.
The ninth pick, maybe coupled with Gerald Henderson, Gary Neal and the 24th pick would likely be able to get back someone who could add more to the team now. However, you do then get into the territory of sacrificing long term gain for short term gain, but you have to do that as a franchise at some point. The real home run is if the team can get a player who has both potential to improve and can have a positive impact greater than McDermott's, right now.
Evan (Doug McDermott): What does Charlotte need the most? Here's a simple, yet quick answer: effective perimeter shooting, and lots of it. McDermott -- who shot 40.5 percent from three-point range and averaged 1.22 points per possession in his first season at Creighton -- fits that mold perfectly for the Hornets.
Not only can McDermott shoot it from the outside, but he can surprisingly create for himself as well. In off-the-dribble situations, he averaged 1.154 points per possession. Also, he ranked as the best player in the country at scoring in catch-and-shoot and off-screen situations. What does that equate to? Well, it fits into efficiency: something Charlotte has been lacking for quite some time on offense.
McDermott would be a spark plug off the bench. His ability to space the floor and create would mask the loss of Josh McRoberts -- and even surpass his abilities right away, in my opinion. It also opens it up down-low for Al Jefferson, when McDermott is rotating in with the starters.
What has gone unnoticed, though, is McDermott's ability to actually maneuver and finish inside. He's not just a one-trick pony. The Wooden Award winner has a knack for establishing his position in the post and finishing, especially in transition. He also has a weapon in his arsenal with the jump hook, which he can float over lengthier competition on the inside.
Another facet to McDermott's game is his overall basketball IQ. At 22 years old, he knows the ins and outs. Some may think he's reached his peak at his age, but we've seen many outside shooting big men translate well in the NBA. Also, his athleticism should be more visual in The Association, too. When he showed off his 36.5-inch max vertical at the draft combine, it shows he has a lot more explosion to his game than the casual fan sees.
From an analytics standpoint (we all know I love the metrics side of basketball), McDermott fits the billing for Rich Cho and Co. His PER of 32.8 is way above-average. And his eFG% (effective field-goal percentage) was .603, which was one of the best in the NCAA this past season. So, yes, he fits right in to the Hornets' game plan of drafting from a numbers point of view.
Another positive in McDermott's game is his contract, when comparing it to trading a pick for a veteran. McDermott would receive a contract along the lines of this: 2 years, 4.99 million; almost all guaranteed. That is what Trey Burke received from the Utah Jazz last season as the No. 9 pick. Not bad, to seal a key part of your future for next couple of seasons up for that kind of money. If they traded for a veteran -- unless it was an expiring, but that makes little sense to trade a pick for one -- their cap space would shrivel up a little bit, losing much needed room for players this summer. McDermott would have little affect on it, at all.
At The Hive readers, I believe this is simple from a talent and money perspective -- and also the beloved analytics side of it, too. McDermott fits what Charlotte needs (outside shooting and a jolt of offense) and he comes at a smaller price for the talent he brings to the table, unlike trading for a veteran who might not want to stay in Charlotte long-term.