Proposed Sign & Trade Sees Bulls Land $41M Sharpshooter

Chicago Bulls

Getty Doug McDermott #17 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on

How does a reunion between the Chicago Bulls and the player affectionately known as “Dougie McBuckets” sound? That could very well be in the Bulls’ future if one analyst’s proposal becomes a reality this offseason.

The Bulls are going into the summer with clear-cut needs, writes Sports Illustrated’s Chris Herring.

Bulls vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas rattled off four specific things that his admittedly aggressive front office could look to address this offseason: athleticism, defense, size, and shooting.

They covered athleticism and defense with the addition of rookie wing Dalen Terry with the 18th-overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft and could find a solution in Doug McDermott.

The (Potential) Return of Dougie McBuckets

McDermott is one of the more controversial picks in Bulls history. He was taken with the 11th-overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets. McDermott found his way to the Bulls via a draft-night trade along with big man Anthony Randolph that sent Gary Harris and Jusuf Nurkic to the Western Conference.

That newfound consistency has led “Locked On Bulls” host, Pat The Designer, to suggest a reunion between the sharpshooter and his first NBA team during the June 29 episode.

“The Bulls need a little bit more length, need a little bit more three-point shooting. Somebody that can knock down the three-ball and…even if AK believes that they’re shooters on this team, I think you need more. But you don’t need small shooters. So, I want to see the bulls package Coby White and a signing trade with Derrick Jones Jr. and go get Dougie McBuckets back.”

Bulls Get:

  • Doug McDermott

Spurs Get:

  • Coby White
  • Derrick Jones Jr. (S&T)

McDermott’s tenure in Chicago was underwhelming to the tune of 8.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, and very little else.

But he did shoot just under 40% from beyond the arc in his two-plus campaigns.

That has become the benchmark for McDermott who has shot above 41% from deep over the past five seasons split between the New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, and the San Antonio Spurs.

What McDermott Would Bring to the Bulls

McDermott might not ever justify the Bulls trading away two pieces like Harris and Nurkic for a catch-and-shoot specialist. But, ironically, could be just what they need now with McDermott putting together a strong track record of performance over the last few years, explained Pat.

“Doug Mcdermott has turned himself into a heck of an NBA player…I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that he’s the end-all-be-all when it comes to knocking down shots…But you look at that season before with the pacers 13 points a game on 24 minutes a game. He shot at 53% from the field, 38% from three. By the way, he upped that number the season after to…42% from the three-point line, and the season before that with the pacers he was 43% while shooting it almost 50% again from the three-point line.”

If it was still unclear, Pat reminded the criteria he thinks McDermott meets for the Bulls.

“I need shooting. I need somebody that’s going to run around and do nothing but just find a way to come off the screen and get open.”

The duo does not believe that McDermott’s previous reputation for being a turnstile defensively would be an issue this time around were he to re-join the Bulls this summer.

More Than a Bucket

Chicago might have gotten off of McDermott a bit too soon, explains Pat. The 6-foot-8 forward really came into his own once he left the organization.

“Doug McDermott has kind of become that guy and the sad part is right he kind of became that guy the year we traded him…He was shooting like 37% from three and getting about 10 points a game on 24 minutes a game. And now, he’s shooting he’s averaging five three-pointers per game and hitting that at a 42% clip…Shout out to Doug McBuckets.”

Pat’s co-host, Haize, pointed out McDermott’s improved defense when surrounded by a sound system in San Antonio.

“Do you know what else Dougie McDermott has turned into? A solid defender. Not a…great by any means but his defensive rating is now at league average…what that tells me is that, if you have a good defensive system around McDermott, he’s not going to stick out.”

Pat concurred that, with McDermott’s improved defensive ability, he wouldn’t be a liability.

“I would love Doug McDermott off of this bench. You bring Doug McDermott, you’ve got Ayo Dosunmu, you’ve got Alex Caruso….those are three guys that can go out there and get after you defensively. You add Doug McDermott into that he’s not a liability at that point.”

Bringing Back a Different “Buckets”

There were lofty dreams of potentially re-acquiring Jimmy Butler from the Miami Heat. Those were quickly replaced with a search for a star big man such as Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz and Mitchell Robinson of the Knicks.

What the Bulls will do to round out their frontcourt remains to be seen – reserve center Tony Bradley picked up his $2 million option on June 28, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

While they won’t be getting Jimmy Buckets, and the jury remains out on their chances at the big men, they can secure Dougie McBuckets and check a couple of their offseason needs off of the list for a fraction of the cost.

Perhaps White’s presence on the current roster hints at the Bulls’ plans to keep him this summer despite rumors to the contrary. Jones Jr. is a free agent. But, as the hosts pointed out, there is a chance Karnisovas tries to turn his free agency into a sign-and-trade which could be for McDermott who has two years and over $27 million left on his contract, per Spotrac.

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