By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) Let’s find out if a lottery pick is any good.
Doug McDermott was taken 11th overall in the 2014 NBA draft, highly touted by Bulls’ management after they gave up two first-rounders him, and he’s done nothing since.
It’s due in part to an untimely knee injury early in the 2014-’15 season, in part to a coach obsessed with defense above all and perhaps in part to him not being athletic enough to get where he has to go on the floor, which is to say not good enough.
Projected starting small forward Mike Dunleavy is out for the foreseeable future after back surgery, and it’s the best chance ever for McDermott to prove himself for real — not as a Summer League all-star and not by battling preseason bums, but by doing it in games as a rotation player.
Make open shots, space the floor, move without the ball.
It should help to have rookie coach Fred Hoiberg in charge, most believe, because he’s as focused on scoring as his predecessor was on stopping teams. As one longtime basketball observer told me, “If you ask Fred a question about defense, by the end of his answer he’s talking about offense.”
There’s no better time for McDermott to show he can play.