CHICAGO -- Doug McDermott fits the mold of the type of player the Chicago Bulls always look for in the draft. He played four years at Creighton -- earning consensus All-America honors his final three -- while knocking down jumper after jumper for the Bluejays. As he spoke Thursday during the NBA draft combine, it was easy to understand why there appears to be interest on both sides.
"I think I'd fit in great," McDermott said. "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, and I feel like I'm a much better defender than people give me credit [for]. I think I can really understand the team concept of defense, and I think [Chicago's] a place where I could fit in."
McDermott, who is represented by Chicago-based agent Mark Bartelstein, has been training in Chicago while he gets ready for the June 26 draft. He already has a comfort level with the Bulls front office.
"I went to a Bulls game against the Wizards, so I'm really familiar with them," he said. "I'm pretty familiar with their front office. They're a bunch of guys from Iowa -- they all went to Iowa State it seems like. I got a chance to talk to them, and I really like them."
McDermott said he seeks advice from former Creighton star Kyle Korver as he gets ready for the draft. Korver, who played for the Bulls from 2010-2012, is among a group of trusted confidants off whom McDermott bounces ideas -- and he raved about his time in Chicago.
"He loved it," McDermott said. "He loved it. He didn't want to leave. He had a great time here; he liked Coach Thibodeau and all his teammates, Joakim Noah. So he's a great resource to have when talking about teams."
Stop Bird comparisons: McDermott drew a laugh from the assembled media Thursday when asked if he had heard people comparing him to Hall of Famer Larry Bird.
"I've heard it, but they're crazy," he said. "Because there's not another Larry Bird, I don't think, in my mind. If I could do half of what Larry accomplished, I'd be just fine. It's pretty cool just to be mentioned in the same sentence as him, but there's not going to be another Larry Bird."
The comparisons between the two players grew louder in recent months after McDermott, who won several national player of the year awards for the 2013-14 season, appeared on a Sports Illustrated cover in the same pose with two cheerleaders that Bird made famous while he was at Indiana State. Despite trying to back away from the comparisons, McDermott admitted he still watches tape of Bird before every game he plays.
"I watch Larry Bird highlights before every game," he said. "That was kind of my routine. I wasn't old enough to really watch him growing up, but my dad was, my grandpa was. So I know a lot about Larry just growing up, studying his game."
"Most definitely," Hood said. "Especially with Derrick coming back, being able to push the ball and find shooters, I think that's something they lacked this year and I can come in right away and knock down shots for them."