Doug McDermott was not talked about as a major free agency target leading up to free agency, but the Indiana Pacers made him their first signing. Soon after free agency opened, the Pacers landed McDermott with a three-year, $22 million contract, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. It was a move that fans in Indiana have been split about, with some being happy with the signing and others thinking it was a bad contract for the Pacers.
Indiana needed more shooting, especially off the bench. McDermott will add that shooting ability and will help add more scoring for the Pacers.
Last season in the 26 regular season games that he played with the Dallas Mavericks, McDermott averaged 9.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. He shot 47.8 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 49.4 percent of his three-point attempts. McDermott has also shot 40.3 percent from behind the arc throughout his entire NBA career.
At just 26 years old, McDermott is a perfect fit for the Pacers. A three-year, fully guaranteed deal is without question reasonable for a three-point shooter with the ability that he possesses. Indiana still needs to address a couple holes in their roster, including a playmaking wing to fill the void left by Lance Stephenson, who could also end up being a free agency target later on.
All of that being said, what three reasons can be given to support the statement that signing McDermott was a good move for the Pacers?
McDermott Fills the Pacers’ Bench Shooting Need
First and foremost, as we already touched on, McDermott is going to bring deadly three-point shooting to the Pacers’ bench. Indiana struggled to find shooting with Cory Joseph and Stephenson off the bench. McDermott will fit well with Joseph, Domantas Sabonis, and company, and will help stretch the floor in a big way.
He Gives Indiana a Long-Term Option
Indiana has Bojan Bogdanovic on a one-year deal and Thaddeus Young is also left with one year on his contract. McDermott will give the Pacers an option at both small forward and as a stretch power forward for the next three years. He may not end up starting for the Pacers in the future, but his contract is reasonable for the next three years and will help Nate McMillan at multiple positions.
Indiana’s Culture Is a Perfect Fit for McDermott
McDermott is a team player and the Pacers are looking for players that will buy into their culture of team basketball. Indiana is getting a hard-working player that will play hard for his teammates and will win the fans over with his attitude towards the game. He may not be as athletically gifted as some fans would like, but his basketball IQ and shooting ability will fit nicely and fill a major need for Indiana.
Expect to see McDermott end up being a steal when everything is said and done. Kevin Pritchard obviously made signing him a priority and his track record with the Pacers should give the fans faith in this decision.