SAN Antonio Spurs: Why are the Spurs losing patience with Derek White?

2022-05-14 0 By

After five seasons with the team, Derek White is shockingly no longer a member of the SAN Antonio Spurs after reaching a trade deadline with the Boston Celtics.The deal sent White to Boston in exchange for Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, a 2022 first-round pick and a 2028 draft pick.While other teams were rumored to be interested in White, many Spurs fans probably didn’t expect the Spurs to actually trade him.Yet they did.So why did they decide to trade him?Let’s take a closer look at why the Spurs are losing patience with White.Back in the NBA bubble of 2020, White was playing some of the best basketball of his career, averaging nearly 19 points, five rebounds and five assists per game.Given that he averaged just 15.4 points per game in 2020-21, his offensive play since then suggests this was an anomaly.This season, despite playing a bigger role, his scoring has dropped further.Still, Wyatt seems to have untapped offensive potential.However, when taking a closer look at his NBA bubble, what stands out is his 3-point shooting.He shot 39 percent from 3-for-8 per game, which helps explain his offensive explosiveness and why he can’t replicate it.After all, he averaged 6.8 3-pointers per game last season, but shot just 34.6 percent.Still, entering this season, White seemed like a good candidate to lead the team in scoring, given his offensive skills.Instead, he came in third.Part of it has to do with his aggressiveness, or lack thereof, considering he doesn’t seem to score as well as he should.That has been a problem this season, as the Spurs have struggled to find a consistent second option behind Dejutai Murray.That would have been White, but obviously that’s not going to happen.Derek White never reached “second choice” status Without the possibility of White being the first or even second choice, his role as a good starter was cemented.Don’t get me wrong, he does a lot of things well, but not enough to make him untouchable in trade talks.So the Spurs decided to trade him, mostly for a first-round pick currently projected to be no. 18.While White will certainly be missed, especially during the rest of the season, SAN Antonio made the right move to trade him while his value is still high.Not only that, they’ve replaced him on the roster, and Devin Vassell is ready to step into the lineup and contribute.Additionally, Vassell has two years left on his rookie contract compared to White, who is in the first year of a four-year, $73 million deal.Financial reasons aside, it’s clear the Spurs have a bigger plan, and getting the extra no. 1 spots (two when Thaddeus Young was traded to Toronto) is key to making that plan work.SAN Antonio now has three first-rounders, each with the potential to finish in the top 20, giving them plenty of assets and options.Most likely, the plan is to trade to the top three picks in the draft (which may not be required based on their record and luck).That might allow the SAN Antonio Spurs to pick a future superstar to pair with their current star, Andy Murray.As talented as White is, he simply doesn’t do that, especially at 27, when players are more or less finished products.As a result, the Spurs took a calculated risk to try to improve the team by having a good player pick a good player a few months later.It wasn’t without risk, but with Vassell seemingly ready to step up, the Spurs’ decision to trade White made sense.Ultimately, White’s time with the team was a success, even if his departure felt abrupt.It should not be forgotten that he was selected 29th overall in the first round and has managed to become a standout starter, a remarkable feat despite the Spurs’ high late-first-round draft success rate.That said, despite showing tantalizing flashes of being a high-end scorer and playmaker, it became clear this season that he was never going to be the player they wanted him to be.As a result, the Spurs decided to make drastic changes in hopes of improving their team around Murray, and White had to leave.