Celtics

White Has Made Himself a Lot of Money

on

Through the first six games of the Boston Celtics’ 2024 playoffs, Derrick White averaged 22.8 points (57.5% FG, 50% 3PT, 90% FT), 3.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.

In this year’s first round, White scored more total points (112) than Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (109), Devin Booker (110), Jayson Tatum (110), Tyrese Haliburton (96), Karl-Anthony Towns (97), Kevin Durant (107) and Darius Garland (104), who are all either All-Stars or, arguably, borderline All-Stars.

Playoff Derrick is Definitely a Thing

In Boston’s massive Game 4 victory over the Heat on April 29, White dropped a masterclass, recording a playoff career-high 38 points — 22 in the first half — on 15-of-26 shooting (57.7%).

With Kristaps Porzingis going down in the second quarter with a right soleus strain, this effectively put White as Boston’s third scoring option. He proved to be their much-needed offensive weapon with the Jays combining for 37 points on 12-of-32 shooting. 

Since then, White has had a bit of a rough stretch over the Celtics’ last three games. He’s averaged a significantly worse 9.0 points (27% FG, 25% 3PT, 86% FT) per game, but has at least maintained other production with 4.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per contest. Like most players who get really hot, White was bound to regress to the mean eventually— but expect this just to be a temporary setback.

The Ultimate Celtic

White has all the characteristics of a Boston Celtic.

He’s a hard worker, an underdog, tough and damn good at basketball. In high school, Derrick had no four-year scholarship offers, with the only four-year offer being a non-scholarship from Johnson & Wales and the then-head coach Jeff Culver. Culver then accepted the head-coaching position at Division II University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, where he invited White to the team with a housing stipend

In his career with the UCCS Mountain Lions, White set the school’s all-time scoring and assists records, with 1,912 and 343, respectively. White then transferred to Division I Colorado and averaged 18.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.4 blocks per game, earning him All-Pac-12 honors, All-Defensive Team and All-Tournament Team.

After four-and-a-half seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, White was traded to the Celtics on February 10th, 2022 in exchange for Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, the Celtics’ 2022 first-round pick (Blake Wesley), and the right to swap first-round picks in 2028.

When the trade occurred, many people were skeptical of this move by Brad Stevens. Neil Iyer, a writer for CelticsBlog, called it Brad Stevens’ first major mistake as a GM”.

Despite White’s minor blip in the radar over the last week, he still couldn’t be more wrong.

Since becoming a Celtic, White has only missed ten games, including the playoffs. Two being for the birth of each of his children and the others for rest. Of course, availability is the best ability, but he brings much more than that to the table. The 29-year-old ranked fourth in offensive rating and third in net rating during the regular season.

He also ranks second in plus-minus, behind only the three-time MVP Nikola Jokic.

Money, Money, Money

It seems like every day White’s price tag is going up.

As his play exponentially grows, so does his potential contract. The Celtics have a lot of people to pay. In July of 2023, the Celtics signed All-Star guard Jaylen Brown to a record-breaking five-year supermax extension worth up to $303.7 million, which is fully guaranteed.

And just last month, the Celtics signed veteran guard Jrue Holiday to a four-year extension worth $135 million Per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Jayson Tatum is eligible to sign a five-year contract worth up to $315 million.

Now where does this leave Derrick White? Well, according to Celtics majority owner Wyc Grousbeck, Brad Stevens has the green light to spend more.” White will be an unrestricted free agent in 2025.

With the new CBA, White would be able to extend his contract for three years at 140% of his $19.6 million salary for 2024-25, making him eligible for an approximate three-year, $83 million extension this summer.

Is he worth it? He absolutely is. No questions asked.

He is a winner. He wins basketball games, which should be any franchise’s number one priority. White is an All-Star.

About Ian Rich

Diehard Celtics fan, Current Senior at Brookline High School, and will be attending Emory University in the Fall

Recommended for you

Powered by themekiller.com