San Antonio Spurs' Derrick White has been in the national spotlight recently with his stellar Team USA training camp performance.
He’s garnered praise from both teammates and coaches. He even is reportedly set to move from the US Select Team to join the World Cup squad in China this summer.
While Derrick is opening eyes in Las Vegas with Team USA, Spurs fans are beginning to ask where does the team slot him ahead of next season?
The Spurs will have potentially two All-NBA Defensive guards. They'll boast two outside sharp-shooters with Patty Mills and Bryn Forbes. Lonnie Walker IV is looking to warrant a good amount of usage also.
So, with some new additions to the roster and bringing back a fully healthy DeJounte Murray, where is the best place for White to maximize his potential?
We asked the Spurs fans to weigh in and here is the reaction:
800 people joined in on the poll and almost 50% of them stated they hoped to see White as the starting shooting guard.
I am inclined to agree with them as well and here is why.
This combination did not get to blossom like Spurs fans hoped for.
The pre-season knee injury to Murray derailed what could have been a much better year for the Silver and Black. However, the time they did put together was very promising.
The combination of the two young guards yielded per 100 possessions: +23 points, +5 total rebounds, +7 assists, +3 steals, + 4 blocks.
Alongside Murray, White would be the perfect compliment. Both guards can switch defensively and be able to guard multiple positions. Both guards are also able to cut and slash to the basket,. White is the better catch and shoot player with a 50% efficiency field goal rating. The Murray-White duo would be one of the best defensive/rebounding back courts in all of the NBA.
There is a fairly large camp for White being the starting point guard, and there are some legitimate points to be made.
This past season, White was pushed into the starting point guard spot and that allowed him to command the floor. So, it comes as no surprise why some would want him there.
This is also a great combination. Really any pure shooter with White would be a boost for the Spurs.
White has shown he has excellent court vision and has enough gravity to get his shooters open. With Mills alongside him, the combination put up +13 points and had a field goal efficiency of 57%.
They were also a solid +.133 from the 3 point range, meaning they were able to knock down 1.33 long distance shots. That is incredible and makes a great case for White to be the starting point guard.
With Forbes, they combined for +4 points and shot over 50% from the 3 point line. White with either Mills or Forbes is a great lineup. It allows Mills and Forbes to due what they are best at (shoot) and you the Spurs still have at least one strong defensive guard in the game.
While this was also fairly popular, White would do amazing coming off as a the sixth man. He would lead the entire second unit and command be the main point guard in that lineup.
He would also be slotted alongside Mills and, as previously stated, that is a great combination.
If White did come off the bench, the initial lineup would look like Murray - Forbes - DeRozan - LaMarcus Aldridge/Jakob Poeltl/DeMarre Carroll. The bench unit would still be formidable with White - Mills - Lonnie - Trey Lyles/Rudy Gay/Drew Eubanks, this roster has the potential to be one of the deepest in the NBA.
Whichever way you slice it, Popovich and company have a great problem now and for the foreseeable future.
Having dual threats in both Murray and White are something every coach wish they had, future star players that you can build your team around. This is like a college football team having two young stud quarterbacks and they have to run a quarterback by committee.
You have options and both options do this slightly better and different from one another. This year the starting lineup is going to change frequently, Popovich is going to be tinker for the majority of the year, that is a given.