The Indiana Pacers will risk losing Doug McDermott in free agency this summer after three seasons with the team. McDermott hits the market following the best season of his seven-year career in which he scored 13.6 points per game and shot 38.8 percent from deep.
McDermott also started a career-high 29 times last season after starting in just 14 games prior to last season. Now, he is set for a big payday this summer and will have a chance to leave the Pacers.
The Indiana Pacers’ offseason relies on Doug McDermott
If McDermott finds the urge to stick around and play under Rick Carlisle once again. In 2017-18, McDermott played 26 games with the Mavericks and was arguably the best he has ever been. He averaged 9.0 points per game but shot an astounding 49.4 percent from beyond the arc. If he thinks he can find similar success in Indiana under Carlisle, the Pacers will have a solid bench group.
Indiana is likely going to retain a good rotation with a few key bench contributors. Justin Holiday, Oshae Brissett, and Goga Bitadze are all expected to be in the mix next season with T.J. McConnell and Doug McDermott being vital free agents.
If Doug McDermott returns, the Pacers will have their lethal scoring threat in the second unit but the money will be tight. Spending the money to lock up a deadly shooter is well worth the investment, assuming Indiana can afford to keep the rest of the roster intact.
Justin Holiday can fill the McDermott role if need be but the two managed to work well together in the past. Letting McDermott go would allow the Pacers to invest more in the backcourt while also having reliable shooting threats off the bench with Holiday and Brissett.
My biggest concern with McDermott walking in free agency is how it will affect the draft. If he intends to sign elsewhere, the Pacers might panic in the NBA Draft and select Corey Kispert with the 13th overall pick in order to replicate the McDermott production while overlooking other needs.
The Pacers have to nail the draft this year and selecting a perimeter shooter with not much upside in any other area would be a huge swing and miss. Do not let the loss of Doug McDermott cripple the future of the franchise.