Dwyane Wade didn’t hesitate when asked which new teammate surprisingly impressed him so far through this first week of training camp.
“One guy I’ve been impressed with so far in camp is Doug McDermott,’’ Wade said. “I think the way he shoots the ball and how fast he shoots it, but the way he puts the ball on the floor as well and shows his athletic ability. Just by playing against him and now seeing his confidence in his game, the kid’s tough. He’s having a good camp and hopefully it will continue, because we’re gonna need him.
“We need him make shots, and we also need him to do what he does, put the ball on the floor, be smart. Just be a smart player. He’s going to have to come in and play the two, the three, the four, different positions. So it will be a big year for him.’’
McDermott has already acknowledged what Year 3 in the NBA means for him, but what was a bit eye-opening on Thursday was his honesty in assessing how a new environment around him will make improvement easier.
The Bulls shipped out Derrick Rose in a trade with New York, as well as let Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol walk via free agency.
“It still doesn’t quite feel real, but I think it’s for the better,’’ McDermott said of the departures. “Not saying anything bad about those guys, obviously they meant a lot to this organization and helped me a lot. But I think we just needed a new vibe, and we got it with these guys. I just feel like the vibe is different. It’s a much better vibe.’’
Even with one huge unanswered question.
McDermott wore No. 3 since joining the Bulls, but opted to give up his number to Wade, instead going with No. 11. So what was the final negotiating price on that jersey switch?
“[Wade] still hasn’t given me anything,’’ McDermott said. “He told me he was going to give me a lot of open shots. I don’t want to bring it up to him.’’
Fred Hoiberg said there were changes he needed to make from his rookie coaching season, and it wasn’t just tough talk.
To a man, the players that went through the Hoiberg experience last year are admittedly seeing a different coach so far in his sophomore campaign.
“I would say so, yes,’’ McDermott said, when asked if Hoiberg had changed. “He’s been much more demanding on us. He’s been really vocal out there and I’ve really noticed the difference for sure. Obviously, he’s real hard on himself about last year, as we are too, and we don’t want that to happen again. So we’re going to do everything we can to try to fix it.’’