The Spurs made a very Spursy pick with the 29th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
The San Antonio Spurs did it again.
Ignoring a run on bigs and the conventionial best players left, the Spurs instead opted to go with a player who’s gained a lot of traction in recent weeks — Derrick White of Colorado. White, went under the radar during the regular season as a grad transfer from Division II Colorado-Colorado Springs, but he’s for real as a potential combo guard that can fit the Spurs ethos.
White was a high-volume scorer at Colorado, but he’s likely to be a role player in the NBA, handling the ball on bench units and spacing the floor when paired with one of San Antonio’s other guards. White has great court vision and he’s a reliable finisher, which should mean he can grow into an NBA one, despite being turnover prone. In San Antonio, he’s an ideal fit next to Patty Mills, and his shooting should help him potentially edge Dejounte Murray for minutes next season.
Defensively, he’s very similar to Murray. At 6-foot-5 with a 6-foot-7 wingspan and solid athleticism, White projects to be able to handle either backcourt spot. He’s an incredibly intelligent defender, and he does well defending in a team context. His sneaky value could be as a quirky wing rim protector, as his shot-blocking timing is great, and he averaged 1.7 blocks per game last season. He’s a legitimate threat as a weakside rim protector, an enticing prospect for Gregg Popovich to get to work with.
The Spurs floated the idea of trading Danny Green before the draft, and we see why as White was probably prominent in their plans. He should develop into a sound rotation player within the Spurs borg, and he was probably a steal for them to be able to pick at 29. He’ll join Murray as San Antonio’s backcourt of the future. A long, intelligent, hyper-competitive backcourt. Next to Kawhi, this is going to be fun.
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