The San Antonio Spurs selected Derrick White in the 2017 NBA Draft. How does this pick grade out?
In natural San Antonio Spurs fashion, an unexpected and unconventional pick came late in the first round. Derrick White, a 6’5” guard out of Colorado will be joining the team.
White finished his senior season averaging 18.1 points per game along with four rebounds and four assists. His array of skills and his will-to-win will certainly be a strong addition to the Spurs core of unselfish players.
The addition of Derrick White addresses issues at the point guard position for Coach Popovich’s rotation. With Tony Parker nursing a quad injury and Patty Mills on the free market, the team has begun to lose its depth at the guard position.
White, a four-year college player, climbed the ranks from Division 2 Basketball to Division 1. His well-roundedness and solid passing ability will allow him to adapt to Popovich’s system of play.
While his ability to create plays drew the attention of San Antonio’s scouts, it leaves some to be desired in the frontcourt. With Pau Gasol, David Lee and Dewayne Dedmon all unrestricted, the San Antonio big men have become sparse.
The upside of drafting a guard is that San Antonio now has a safety net in case Patty Mills decides to leave. Dejounte Murray is free fill his role off of the bench with White as the third string. This also allows the Spurs to pursue point guards in Free Agency without worrying about Mills’ return.
White has exemplified keen basketball IQ throughout his college career which will allow him to develop under Coach Popovich. His hustle and heart emulate that of Jonathon Simmons, who is now testing restricted free agency.
Derrick White's trainer, Marcus Mason, said White is "very excited about being picked by the Spurs & would love to play for Coach Pop."
— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) June 23, 2017
Along with his array of skills and fundamentals, White brings an element of moldability for San Antonio’s coaching staff. His talent and maturity are reminiscent of Malcolm Brogdon prior to the 2016 NBA Draft. Brogdon brought talent, a strong mind and a set of intangibles that allow him to succeed in the NBA.
With the San Antonio training staff by his side, White has the potential to be a solid player for Popovich.
Draft Grade: B+
The Spurs hold the 59th pick in the Draft which will conclude their night. San Antonio Legend, Manu Ginobili was notably picked 57th in his draft, so stay tuned for the Spurs’ next pick. It’ll likely be another fantastic prospect.