Derrick White may continue to be injury-prone
The Spurs' starting shooting guard, Derrick White, is in an interesting position on the team. On one hand, for being the 29th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, he's been nothing short of astounding with the Spurs.
Since his sophomore season in the league when he began regularly playing in San Antonio, he's been very consistent in virtually every major box score metric and has dramatically improved as a scorer. He was tied for seventh in the league in charges drawn this past season despite playing only 36 games, is likely the team's best perimeter defender at this point, and has shown flashes of three-level scoring in important games.
Looking at the rest of the current roster, he has a very good chance of being the best player on the floor for the Spurs. Despite not being the most athletic player in the Spurs' backcourt, his defensive IQ and scoring ability give him a clear edge over nearly everyone else.
On the other hand, despite how talented he is, he likely won't be a part of the Spurs' future for much longer if he's unable to stay on the court. Dating back to 2018, he's had several nagging injuries that have been exclusively in his lower body. Perhaps even more concerningly, over half of those injuries have been in his feet.
This past season was notably full of injuries due to COVID-related challenges. For this reason, I remain cautiously optimistic about White in terms of his health. Unfortunately, though, it's also worth noting that he's by far the oldest of the Spurs' recent draft picks at 27 years old. The combination of his age and injury history has many, including me, concerned about his trajectory as a player.
With these concerns in mind, though, should the Spurs choose to retain him long-term, he'll be more than capable of being an important contributor if he can stay healthy. He's a versatile two-way player that can play both guard positions and provide a bit of whatever is needed in any given lineup.
Even if it means eventually relegating him to the bench in favor of another shooting guard in the near future, that kind of player is worth hanging on to for the right price.