How much should the San Antonio Spurs pay Derrick White to stay?

Feb 8, 2020; Sacramento, California, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Derrick White (4) reacts after being called for a foul during the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 8, 2020; Sacramento, California, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Derrick White (4) reacts after being called for a foul during the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
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Eligible for a contract extension later in the offseason, San Antonio Spurs guard Derrick White is going to get the pay rate he deserves.

The most important part of this offseason for the San Antonio Spurs has nothing to do with free agency or the NBA Draft. In fact, it comes long after those two events have concluded. For this team to commit to the future, combo guard Derrick White needs to walk away from this offseason with a free contract extension to keep him in town beyond his rookie deal.

Having White on such a cheap contract has been excellent for the San Antonio Spurs, but time is ticking and it’s imperative that the team holds onto its most advanced homegrown prospect. Through the Orlando restart, we got to see much more of what the 26-year-old is capable of in extended minutes.

Beyond shooting the 3-ball at an impressive rate when given the green light, White proved he can be a volume scorer in this league. Though an injury derailed his momentum at Walt Disney World, White was as consistent as he was resilient. However, White’s season on a whole wasn’t quite as impressive as last year when he played in place of the injured Dejounte Murray.

Coming off of injury, the Spurs gave Dejounte Murray a four-year, $64 million deal with incentives. Though ESPN Front Office Expert Bobby Marks suggested that White makes roughly $54 million over four years. To be quite frank, White is better than Murray at this point and fits the current team dynamic better. It’s more likely for the team to offer a similar deal in the $60-$70 million range.

A four-year, $66 million deal leaves plenty of open cap space for the San Antonio Spurs’ front office to play with as a loaded 2021 free agency class opens up. Meanwhile, a stable base featuring White, Murray, Samanic, Keldon and Lonnie Walker provides an infrastructure that free agents looking to compete could be appealed by.

Derrick White beats the tough defense with the tougher triple! #WholeNewGame pic.twitter.com/SkocEAd2Vb

— NBA (@NBA) August 11, 2020

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The first year of a four-year, $66 million deal sees White making roughly $15 million in his first season with an incremental growth of about $1 million per season. This projects to pay White $18 million in his best season around 30-years-old, aligning with the peak of his career and ensuring financial security that a former Division III college player could only dream of.

Not only does White deserve every penny that he’s going to get, but he deserves it from this organization. He’s the only player on this roster who truly falls in line with the defensive identity that made the Spurs a dynasty. Having someone like that to es t the ton or the rest of the team and more specifically, the younger players will pay off in dividends later down the line.

Leaders don’t just fall off of trees and once you’ve got one, you need to keep them in this league. Contenders around the league would be more than happy to have him as their starting guard, which is why he’ll come at a decent premium.

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Even more so than signing DeRozan, extending White needs to be priority No. 1 for this team

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