The Bulls made a big move on draft night, but anything that happens now is merely setting the stage for what's in store.
By trading their two first-round picks, Nos. 16 and 19, the Bulls acquired Creighton sharpshooter Doug McDermott, who was chosen No. 11 by Denver. The Bulls were so intent on landing McDermott, they agreed to also take lightly used power forward Anthony Randolph from the Nuggets.
The 6-foot-8 McDermott does fill a significant need, giving the Bulls a talented shooter and scorer. He finished his college career as the No. 5 leading scorer in NCAA Division I history with 3,150 points and averaged 26.7 points as a senior.
"I think if you view him as a strictly a shooter, you're not casting the proper light on him, because he's a lot more than that," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Thursday night at the Berto Center. "We think he's a complete player. We think he's capable of playing very good defense.
"He's going to get in here right away and we'll get to work."
The Bulls clearly have eyes for a more accomplished shooter, New York's Carmelo Anthony. Whether the Bulls need to clear cap space to sign Anthony outright or figure out a sign-and-trade with the New York Knicks, McDermott could be headed out of town before suiting up for the Bulls.
Then again, the Bulls might whiff on Anthony, in which case, McDermott could become a significant player in Chicago. It would be interesting if McDermott eventually plays with 6-10 European star Nikola Mirotic, also billed as a top-notch range shooter.
"We've spent a lot of time planning for all the different scenarios, all the things that could happen here in July," general manager Gar Forman said. "Obviously, to try to accomplish some things, we're going to have to be creative."
At Nos. 16 and 19, the Bulls chose Bosnian center Jusuf Nurkic and Michigan State guard Gary Harris for Denver. Many predictions had Harris being chosen in the early teens.
At the NBA's predraft camp in May, McDermott talked about possibly joining the Bulls. He heard good things about the Bulls from fellow Creighton sharpshooter Kyle Korver, who played in Chicago from 2010-12.
"I think I'd fit in great," McDermott said, according to bulls.com. "I feel like they always have a good group of guys. And, obviously with Derrick Rose returning, he draws a lot of attention, so I feel like my outside shooting could really help them."
Of course, with Thibodeau sitting in the coaching chair, the subject inevitably turns to defense.
"I feel like I'm a much better defender than people give me credit (for)," McDermott said. "I think I can really understand the team concept of defense, and I think that is a place where I could fit in. … I'm a guy that hates getting scored on."
McDermott was a late bloomer in basketball, playing on the freshman and sophomore teams at Ames (Iowa) High School. When he joined the varsity, McDermott teamed up with current Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes to win two state titles.
At the time, McDermott's father, Greg, was head coach at Iowa State. Father and son weren't convinced Doug was a Big 12-caliber player, so he signed with Northern Iowa.
Eventually, Greg McDermott was replaced at Iowa State by Fred Hoiberg. After taking the job at Creighton, Doug asked to be released from his letter of intent to play for his dad.
Forman said president of basketball operations John Paxson went to scout McDermott and ended up getting stranded by a snowstorm.
"(Paxson) saw him play twice and practice four times and got to know Omaha really well," Forman said. "Obviously because he's a four-year player and he's been on the radar; we got a chance to see him quite a bit."
The 6-11 Randolph, who turns 25 next month, has been a low-usage player the past two years in Denver, averaging 4.8 points and 2.8 rebounds last season. He's set to make $1.8 million next year but is unlikely to be part of a sign-and-trade deal. NBA rules prohibit him from being traded in a multiplayer deal for 60 days.
The Bulls also owe the Nuggets a future second-round pick. In Thursday's second round, the Bulls chose 6-10 Cameron Bairstow from the University of New Mexico and Brisbane, Australia.
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