Is Doug McDermott a Practical Choice for the Los Angeles Lakers?

With the No. 7 pick in this year’s draft, the Los Angeles Lakers have a rare opportunity to pick an immediate impact player. Not surprisingly, the prospects getting the most hype are primarily one-and-done athletes—an exception being Creighton University senior Doug McDermott.

As the nation’s leading college scorer as well as winner of this year’s John R. Wooden and Naismith awards, McDermott presents a case for consideration.

But will the Lakers opt for youth, athleticism and the often-exaggerated promise of limitless upside rather than choosing the path of practicality?  

Being a four-year man is usually seen as a liability when it comes to the draft lottery. An older athlete is assumed to have a reduced shelf life as well as the stigma of being considered a finished product without the room to develop in the NBA.

Beth Harris for AP’s The Big Story covered the Wooden presentation in April, relaying McDermott’s remarks about his college experience: “I never got satisfied. I stuck it out for four years. That's why it's so great seeing other seniors be here with me. We're guys who decided to get better every year.”

For L.A., looking to accelerate through an almost total rebuild, experience could have its advantages. The son of Creighton coach Greg McDermott, the 6’8” forward offers the kind of maturity and leadership that will be crucial in coming years, with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash now in the twilight of their brilliant careers.

It also doesn’t hurt that McDermott can flat-out shoot the ball, averaging 26.7 points per game this season and a remarkably consistent 21.7 over his college career. And for all the potential that younger players bring, being able to get a shot off under NBA pressure is something that is valuable sooner rather than later.

During an interview with Brian Ham...

About the Author