DALLAS – It seemingly was the perfect marriage.
The Dallas Mavericks were searching for a player who could stretch the floor with his deft shooting touch, and Doug McDermott was searching for a team that could take advantage of his ability to stretch the floor with his deft shooting touch. Now, only time will tell if that marriage will continue.
McDermott, who becomes a restricted free agent on July 1, joined the Mavs via a three-team trade with the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets on Feb. 8. McDermott acquitted himself well in his 26 games in Dallas, and has expressed a desire to remain with the Mavs, who can match any offer he receives.
“That’s the plan,” McDermott said. “I really like it here. I really enjoyed just playing in this system. It was a lot of fun.
“I know I only played (26) games, but I felt like I fit right in right from the first game. It just allowed me to be myself out there.”
After being with four teams since the 2016-’17 season, McDermott discovered that coach Rick Carlisle’s flow system is tailor-made for his style of play. That why he anxiously wants to remain with the Mavs.
“I was just getting the right kind of shots,” McDermott said. “Just the way that the offense flows here just fits me really well.
“I think I just had a lot more confidence because I kind of knew where I was going to get my shots within the flow of the offense, and that made it a lot easier for me because I could work on that certain stuff at practice as well.”
McDermott averaged nine points in 22.9 minutes per game with the Mavs this season, and also shot 47.8 percent from the field and a robust 49.4 percent from 3-point range while catching the eyes of the Mavs coaches.
“We like McDermott,” Carlisle said. “McDermott is a very resourceful player offensively, which goes without saying.
“He shoots well, he moves well, he can make plays, he’s athletic, he’s finished with dunks on many occasions. He’s a fun guy to play with.”
McDermott also believes he’s a fun guy to play with. That’s why he wants some stability in his NBA life.
After being drafted by the Nuggets No. 11 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, McDermott was traded on draft night to the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls eventually traded the 6-8, 219-pound forward to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb. 23, 2017.
Then on Sept. 25, 2017, the Thunder subsequently traded McDermott and Enes Kanter to the Knicks for Carmelo Anthony. Less than five months later, McDermott was using his deft shooting touch to shoot jump shots for the Mavs.
“It’s been a crazy year for me,” McDermott said. “I was in Chicago last year. It’s been a crazy turnaround.
“Luckily I don’t have a family that I’m moving around. It’s just me, so it’s made it a little easier.”
While that may be true, McDermott, 26, yearns to play for an NBA franchise that he can call home.
“It was kind of crazy how it all works,” he said. “Last summer getting traded (by the Thunder) the day before training camp for Carmelo – me and Enes – and then the New York deal (with the Mavs) just happened so fast, and now I’m here. I’m really excited.”
McDermott is from Ames, Iowa, and grew up having great admiration for Carlisle, who was the Indiana Pacers’ coach from 2003-’07. That’s another reason why he wants to remain with the Mavs.
“I was a Pacers fan when I just younger, so I’ve always kind of been a fan of his,” McDermott said, referring to Carlisle. “I just feel to play for a guy like him it was awesome.
“He gives you so much freedom out there to move around and he just really knows what he’s doing. He’s a championship level coach, so it was really cool to be a part of.”
Carlisle certainly enjoyed coaching McDermott, who was the consensus National College Player of the Year at Creighton in 2014.
“Defensively, he’s learned to battle within our system and he’s gotten better,’ Carlisle said. “He’s a restricted free agent, so we’ll certainly have the opportunity to keep him here.
“We like him. He’s had a nice positive impact on our team.”
An impact that McDermott hopes will continue next season and beyond.
“I would love to be here,” he said. “I loved my time here, the fans were great, the teammates were awesome and the coaching staff is really fun to work with.”