3 San Antonio Spurs players with the most to prove next season
Spurs player 3: Derrick White
You might already be thinking to yourself that Derrick White does not deserve to be on this list. So, let me make it very clear that he didn't make it on this list because he hasn't been a good player for the Spurs or needs to dramatically improve some part of his game somehow.
Derrick has made his way to this shortlist because I have concerns about his age and durability. Derrick will be turning 27 years old this coming July and is the oldest of the Spurs' young core of players that they've been drafting over the past several years. In fact, by NBA standards today, a 27-year-old is definitely not considered to be a young player. Even DeMar DeRozan is only about five years older than White.
With that in mind, Derrick is right about at the age that is considered to be the beginning of an NBA player's physical peak. This is what has me most worried about Derrick's injury history. Although he has never had any devastating injuries like Dejounte Murray's ACL tear, he's had a number of small injuries that appear to be primarily focused in and around his feet.
So, while Derrick does not necessarily need to prove to the Spurs that he's somehow improved his game in any significant way, he needs to prove that he can stay healthy. His performances in the NBA bubble made it appear as if he is one of the Spurs' most polished players when he's healthy, but if he's constantly dealing with setbacks during the season, that talent won't matter.
If the Spurs aren't confident in Derrick's ability to stay healthy, I think it's well within the realm of possibility that he's put on the trading block in the near future as he still holds several years of youth and value left in him. What I'm actually hoping for though is that he's able to remain healthy and return to his bubble productivity with consistency, whether it be in a starting role or as a sixth man off the bench.