Pursuing trade for this Spurs flamethrower would be smart call by Cavs
This offseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers have to be looking to bring in pieces to help out their young core, and ideally, to help bolster their wing outlook.
Rumored potential trade targets such as Royce O’Neale, Dorian Finney-Smith and Buddy Hield could make a difference in that realm, and Joe Ingles, Jalen McDaniels and Troy Brown Jr. could in the same light, pertaining to free agent possibilities.
Another trade target that could seemingly give the Cavaliers wing/3 man situation some true pop is a San Antonio Spurs sharpshooter. He was previously a player linked to Cleveland before as a free agent and has been mentioned as a theoretical trade target since among Cavs fans as well, and who I’m referring to is Doug McDermott.
McDermott has been with the Spurs the past two seasons after signing a three-year deal with them prior to the 2021-22 campaign, and his shooting from beyond the arc has been his calling card in his time in the NBA.
The Cavs pursuing a flamethrower in McDermott would be a solid call this offseason.
McDermott has had 10.7 points in 22.1 minutes per outing over the last two seasons with San Antonio, with time spent both as a starter and bench contributor, of which he was in the latter role in 2022-23. Over his time with the Spurs, he’s cashed in on 41.7 percent of his three-point attempts, which included him hitting 41.3 percent of those this last go-around.
McDermott could be a knockdown shooter to have in a key bench role for stretches of games, as he’s functioned in that role for most of his career. He could still be a dangerous threat in closing lineups for Cleveland also, for what it’s worth.
McDermott would provide the Cavaliers with of course valuable horizontal floor spacing with his shooting, which is always crucial in today’s league.
Over the last six seasons, even with him in different situations with four teams, including the Indiana Pacers for three years, he connected on 41.5 percent of his deep attempts over that span. In that time, he’s averaged 9.9 points in 21.2 minutes per contest.
Along with the overall spacing threat, he could give the Cavs a movement shooting boost for stretches as well as they’d hopefully find ways to get him going in that way off screens, too.
McDermott’s shooting dynamism could bolster Cleveland’s offensive outlook, and he could make Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley all the more versatile as offensive players. Further, if he were to be re-signed this offseason, Caris LeVert is another player who could benefit as a shot creator and playmaker from McDermott’s potential trade acquisition as well.
The Cavaliers would clearly stand to benefit from bringing in McDermott to the team, as we’ve detailed, but even with his shooting impact, it could be sensible for the Spurs to potentially deal him, too.
San Antonio is a squad that is prioritizing getting young players significant minutes for their growth, given the Spurs have to be embracing a full-rebuild from here, and they are.
From that standpoint, McDermott is set to be on an expiring roughly $13.8 million contract for 2023-24, and he’ll be in his age-32 season. With that in play, maybe a deal framework of Isaac Okoro, Ricky Rubio or a developmental movement shooter in Sam Merrill attached with a second-round pick or perhaps two could suffice?
Okoro could establish himself as one of San Antonio’s top defenders from the jump, and gradually, his offense could potentially round out more in due time if he’s given more opportunities with the Spurs in a rebuilding situation. By comparison, Okoro is valuable for the Cavs defense but the clock seems to be ticking on him, and where Cleveland is now, they can’t be patient in waiting for his offense to come. Merrill may not get looks if he’s still around next season with the Cavs, either, with his minimal NBA experience.
McDermott could end up being a player who could be a long-term piece for the Cavaliers as well, with his play style and how he could be a shooter the Wine and Gold could weaponize for stretches and feasibly in the playoffs in years ahead.
Cleveland should strongly consider swinging a deal for McDermott.