Is a reunion with a former Spurs fan favorite in the cards?

The young San Antonio Spurs have talent but are short on experience, and a blast from the past may help them take the next step, but is a reunion in the cards?
Gregg Popovich
Gregg Popovich / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

When the San Antonio Spurs decided to trade away fan-favorite Derrick White back in 2021, it came as a surprise to many. Despite that, after the dust settled, the deal made plenty of sense. White was blocking Devin Vassell from earning minutes and was in the first year of a contract that seemed questionable that he would live up to. Factor in that the Spurs got a first-round pick that became Blake Wesley and a potentially interesting 2028 pick swap, and it's hard to fault them for dealing White to Boston.

That proved to be the best thing for White too, who has managed to raise his profile playing for the league-leading Celtics and has become a vital part of their team. Thus far this season, he's averaging an impressive 14.5 points, 4 rebounds, and 4.5 assists while playing terrific defense. But what if he rejoined the Spurs as they begin to ascend with Rookie of the Year favorite Victor Wembanyama?

Can the Spurs re-sign Derrick White?

White is set to become an unrestricted free agent after next season, and while he could sign an extension with the Celtics before then, they are already incredibly expensive. Kristaps Porzingis, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Jrue Holiday will all make around $30 million or more going forward, and White could easily command $25 million a season.

It's hard to imagine the Celtics being able to make that work with the collective bargaining agreement designed to break teams such as them up. Wembanyama will still be on his rookie contract after next season, and the Spurs should still be a team with plenty of cap space, so they could theoretically swing it. One drawback is that he will be 31 by the time he hits free agency and may want a four-year agreement.

Signing him a $100 million plus deal would mean paying a veteran who would be much older than the Spurs' core. That might not be a bad thing, though there is a risk that he could decline while on his third contract. As a result, the Spurs should probably look for someone closer to the age of their core, with fellow ex-Spur Dejounte Murray or his current teammate Trae Young both making more sense.

Ultimately, White's success in Boston is great to watch and probably has many Spurs fans hoping for an eventual reunion. That said, the Spurs would be better served pursuing other options at guard.