A look at Derrick White, the top pick for the San Antonio Spurs in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Similar to Dejounte Murray, Derrick White is another Pac-12 guard who seemed to fly under the radar on NBA draft boards. He was selected at No. 29 overall, by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2017 NBA Draft.
White is a really intriguing prospect mainly because of his ascension from playing Division II basketball to being a First-team All-Pac-12 player. So what is there to know about him?
White played point guard at CU and operates well in the pick and roll. He can create his own shot well and was extremely efficient when doing so, shooting 80 percent from the line and 40 percent from 3. His size at 6’5’’ allows him to match up with 1’s and 2’s. He projects as a bench contributor who can run the point or catch and shoot as a wing playing off the ball.
— DraftExpressContent (@DXContent) May 12, 2017
White does have some potential to make an impact for the Spurs. But, he does a number of glaring weaknesses, foremost being his age. With him being 23 years old, time is running out for his development. As expected for a former Division II player, he is not an explosive athlete. This lack of athleticism might make him a liability when trying to guard his position.
While he has been lauded for his versatility and basketball IQ, his effort level has been a problem on defense. At Colorado, he was often too passive and unfocused. If he wants to stay on the court for the Spurs, he needs to be at least average on defense.
Their selection of White here was surprising, especially with former Villanova now current Laker Josh Hart still on the board. However, the Spurs seemed to have found their guy and think he can fill a void in their guard rotation. I don’t know if I see him working in the NBA, but he seems like a good kid with an incredible story so I hope him the best.