Derrick White

Injury Updates: Powell, Butler, Muscala, White

It sounds like Raptors swingman Norman Powell will be sidelined for an extended period, as Blake Murphy of The Athletic tweets. Powell, who suffered a subluxation (partial dislocation) of his left shoulder in Monday’s win over Utah, currently has his arm in a sling and will undergo further tests once the team is back in Toronto.

In an official press release issued this afternoon, the Raptors didn’t offer a timeline for Powell’s recovery, announcing that he’ll be out indefinitely. However, head coach Nick Nurse told reporters today that the 25-year-old will likely be on the shelf for “weeks,” with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski suggesting (via Twitter) that it could be four to six weeks.

Here are a few of the more noteworthy injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Jimmy Butler, the subject of ongoing trade rumors and speculation, “should be a go” for the Timberwolves tonight against the Lakers, head coach Tom Thibodeau said today (Twitter link via ESPN’s Brian Windhorst). Butler has missed two of Minnesota’s last four games due to “general soreness” and “precautionary rest.”
  • The Sixers continue to have trouble getting all their new rotation players healthy at the same time. Wilson Chandler is back in action now, but Mike Muscala will miss at least the next week after breaking his nose in a practice on Tuesday, per the team (link via Chris Mannix of SI.com).
  • A trio of injured players are just about ready to make their 2018/19 debuts. Spurs point guard Derrick White will be available to play tonight (Twitter link via Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News), as will Kings wing Bogdan Bogdanovic (Twitter link via James Ham of NBC Sports California). Meanwhile, Nets forward DeMarre Carroll may play as soon as Friday in Denver (link via Brian Lewis of The New York Post).

Southwest Notes: Gentry, Morrow, Gasol, White

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry weighed in on the comments made by former NBA commissioner David Stern, labeling the importance of staying focused on the current team instead of outside noise. Stern ripped Pelicans GM Dell Demps this week, calling him a “lousy general manager.”

“For us, we worry about our team,” Gentry said, according to Will Guillory of The Athletic (Twitter link). “We worry about our franchise. I’ve got a great working relationship with Dell. I think we’ve got a good team that we put out on the floor because of he and (president) Mickey (Loomis). That’s all I need to say. I think what has happened here is our franchise has a really bright future and that’s all that needs to be said.”

The Pelicans have started the 2018/19 season on a red-hot note, winning each of their three games in impressive fashion. Led by Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and a nice collection of young assets, New Orleans has designed its roster to compete for many years to come.

The Pelicans also released a statement on Stern’s comments, backing their general manager and claiming their excitement for playing under current NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

Here are other notes from the Southwest Division:

  • Free agent Anthony Morrow is interested in joining the Rockets if the team looks for additional shooting, according to The Athletic’s Kelly Iko. “Absolutely,” Morrow said. Mike (D’Antoni) knows I love him, tell him to give me a call.”
  • Marc Gasol is dealing with neck soreness and is considered day-to-day, the Grizzlies said (Twitter link). Gasol suffered the injury on Wednesday against the Kings, with fears that he could miss extended time.
  • Despite having no timetable for a return, Spurs guard Derrick White continues to progress in his recovery from left heel pain that’s sidelined him since the preseason, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). “He’s progressing as they hoped,” coach Gregg Popovich said.

Spurs’ Derrick White To Miss 6-8 Weeks

1:05pm: The Spurs have provided an official update on White, announcing that he suffered a left plantar fascia tear. The press release didn’t provide a specific timeline for his return.

10:23am: The Spurs‘ injury luck has gone from bad to worse this preseason, as a third San Antonio player – and second point guard – is expected to miss an extended period of time. Derrick White has suffered a heel injury and will be sidelined for six to eight weeks, according to head coach Gregg Popovich (Twitter link via Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News).

It’s a bad break for White, who had been poised to take on a larger role for the Spurs with starting point guard Dejounte Murray expected to miss the entire season with a torn ACL. Initial reports in the wake of Murray’s injury suggested that San Antonio would replace him from within, but with White also on the shelf now, it’s possible those plans could change.

Patty Mills and non-guaranteed camp invitee Nick Johnson are now the only healthy point guards on the roster, though DeMar DeRozan figures to assume some of the ball-handling duties. The Spurs could keep an eye on the waiver wire in the next few days — if any reliable veteran point guards become available, they could be of interest to San Antonio.

White, the Spurs’ first-round pick in 2017, played limited minutes in his rookie season, averaging 3.2 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 17 games (8.2 MPG). With Tony Parker no longer on the roster, San Antonio was set to lean more heavily on White in 2018/19, even before Murray went down. That likely won’t happen until December now.

Meanwhile, this year’s first-round pick – Lonnie Walker – is also expected to be out until at least mid- to late-November after undergoing knee surgery.

Spurs Plan To Replace Murray From Within

There’s no sign the Spurs will acquire a point guard via trade or free agency in the aftermath of Dejounte Murray‘s season-ending knee injury, Jabari Young of The Athletic reports.

Murray was diagnosed with a torn right ACL after suffering the knee injury against the Rockets on Sunday. San Antonio is prepared to go into the season with Derrick White, its first-round pick out of Colorado last year, as the starter. White appeared in 17 games in his rookie campaign but the Spurs would prefer to leave veteran Patty Mills on the second unit, Young continues.

Discussions with veteran free agent guard Jamal Crawford did not gain traction, Young adds.

Coach Gregg Popovich wouldn’t commit to White as the starter but that appears to be the path he’ll choose.

“We know what his skills are,” Popovich told Young and other media members. “But we have to wait to see who works with who the best and what seems to fit spacing-wise and how many basketballs we might need at a specific time in a game. But wherever we put Derrick, he’s going to be in the mix someplace.”

White posted solid numbers in the G League last season after recovering from a wrist fracture and continued to fill the stat sheet in summer league play, Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders notes.

Murray’s strength is defense while White is considered a better shooter. White possesses a better mid-range shot than Murray and has drawn comparisons to former Spurs guard George Hill.

Leaving Mills on the second unit with Marco Belinelli, Davis Bertans, Bryn Forbes, and either Pau Gasol or Jakob Poeltl would be a better fit since he can look to score more often with that group, according to Young.

 

Spurs Exercise 2019/20 Options On Jakob Poeltl, Derrick White

The Spurs have exercised the 2019/20 options in the contracts of Jakob Poeltl and Derrick White, the team announced in a press release. The club also exercised the $2.3MM option in Dejounte Murray’s contract for the season, as we noted earlier.

Poeltl was traded to the Spurs as part of a package featuring Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan in July, and is expected to provide depth in the frontcourt for San Antonio. His maturity and focus at the age of 22 has impressed Spurs’ staffers in his short time with the team.

Poeltl appeared in all 82 contests with the Raptors last season, holding per-game averages of 6.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 18.6 minutes. He was drafted with the No. 9 pick in 2016 after playing two collegiate seasons at Utah.

White, a 6’5″ combo guard who’s in his second NBA season, was selected by the Spurs with the 29th pick in 2017. He played just 17 games last season with the franchise, spending most of his time with the team’s G League affiliate Austin Spurs.

The Spurs have a cap charge of $3.7MM for 2019/10 by picking up Poeltl’s team option, and a separate charge of $1.9MM by exercising White’s option. Poeltl’s rookie contract is due to expire in 2020, while White has a fourth-year option for the 2020/21 campaign.

Team USA Announces Camp Roster For September World Cup Qualifiers

Fourteen players will participate in a Las Vegas training camp beginning this Thursday, USA Basketball announced today in a press release. Of those 14 players, 12 will be named to Team USA’s roster for the club’s upcoming qualifying games for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

This set of games – the first window for the second round of qualifiers – will take place later this month. Team USA will face Uruguay on September 14, then play against Panama on September 17.

The following players will be vying for Team USA roster spots for these qualifying contests:

In the first round of qualifying games for the 2019 World Cup, Team USA was made up predominantly of G League players. That’s the case to some extent again this time, with guys like Hearn and Warney returning. However, many of the players this time around are currently under contract with NBA teams, including Bacon (Hornets), Ellenson (Pistons), Hicks (Knicks), Mason (Kings), Trice (Bucks), and White (Spurs).

“With our September second-round games marking the start of the most critical part of the World Cup Qualifying, I think it is imperative for us to look for players who possess mental fortitude, who are tough, and who have experience,” said Team USA head coach Jeff Van Gundy. “All of our second-round games are going to very, very difficult and competitive battles. Argentina, Panama and Uruguay are all really good and well coached.”

The second round of the World Cup qualifiers will take place over three windows of competition in September, November, and February. Team USA will play two games apiece vs. Argentina, Panama, and Uruguay during that stretch.

Having posted a 5-1 record during the first round of qualifiers, Team USA is tied for first with Argentina in Group E, which is made up of six teams. If Team USA remains in the top three of the Group E standings by the end of February’s games, the squad will qualify for the 2019 World Cup, which will take place in China next September.

Southwest Notes: Spurs, Holiday, Watanabe

After playing 16 seasons in the NBA, former Sixth Man of the Year Manu Ginobili retired earlier this week. His departure now opens the door for increased roles on the Spurs for both Derrick White and Lonnie Walker, writes Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype.

As Kalbrosky notes, Ginobili was used as the primary ball handler in pick-and-rolls for a majority of his possessions last season, and was also used as a spot-up shooter. White also excelled on these play types during his 17 games as a rookie for the Spurs last season. White was also dominant in the G League, meaning he may be ready for an increased role in his second season in the NBA.

Walker, meanwhile, has shown tremendous flashes of potential. At Miami, he was also thrust into the role as a spot-up shooter and ball handler. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich does not generally give a lot of playing time to rookies, but with Ginobili gone, it’s possible he may change his tune with Walker.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Pelicans caught up with starting point guard Jrue Holiday to discuss the team’s 2017/18 playoff run, the team’s acquisitions like Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton, his off-season preparation, and what he expects for this upcoming season.
  • According to Michael Wallace of Grind City Media, Grizzlies rookie Yuta Watanabe is a perfect developmental prospect for today’s NBA because of his combination of length, shot-blocking and three-point range. Watanabe, 23, is trying to become only the second Japanese player to see action in an NBA game.
  • In another article for HoopsHype, Kalbrosky looks at how even though the Spurs have always been at the forefront of basketball analytics, they will now heavily rely on two of the most mid-range-happy jump shooters in the NBA in LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan.

Western Notes: Okafor, White, Canaan, Curry

The signing of big man Jahlil Okafor is a low-risk, high-reward proposition for the PelicansScott Kushner of The New Orleans Advocate opines. The former No. 3 overall pick was signed this week to a partially guaranteed two-year, $3.27MM contract, which includes a team option for the second year. That means Okafor can easily be cut loose if he doesn’t impress in training camp, Kushner notes. If he sticks, Okafor’s scoring ability could allow him to carve out a niche role off the bench behind starters Anthony Davis and Nikola Mirotic, Kushner adds.

We have more from around the Western Division:

  • The losses of Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Anderson, Danny Green and Tony Parker should expand Derrick White‘s role with the Spurs next season, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio News Express. The 6’4” guard appeared in just 17 games last season but the 2017 first-rounder is poised to be a rotation player after a strong showing in summer-league play. “It’s nice to know they have faith in me, that they are confident in me,” White told Orsborn. “It’s tough to see all those guys go. They did so much for the organization. But I’ve got to make the most of my opportunities.”
  • Point guard Isaiah Canaan wants to repay the Suns organization for helping him recover from a fractured left ankle, Clevis Murray of the Arizona Republic reports. Canaan re-signed with Phoenix this summer after rehabbing the injury with the team’s medical staff. Canaan was waived in February after playing 19 games with the Suns but they committed to helping him with his recovery. “The Suns organization helped me get back on my feet and back to doing what I love to do,” Canaan said. “I couldn’t ask for anything else but an opportunity and I told them they won’t regret it and I’m going to take full advantage of it.”
  • Warriors guard Stephen Curry was both surprised and delighted that DeMarcus Cousins signed with the club in free agency, according to an Associated Press report“It’s interesting because nobody going into free agency thought about DeMarcus as an option then all of a sudden he found his way onto our team,” Curry said. “So for us to have a new dynamic, a new look, whenever he’s fully healthy it should be amazing. I think we got better.”
  • The addition of LeBron James has made the Lakers national TV darlings once again, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register notes. The team will have 43 nationally-televised games, three more than the two-time defending champion Warriors.

Spurs Notes: Parker, White, Anderson, Leonard

Tony Parker wanted to stay in San Antonio, but the Spurs wouldn’t offer a multi-year deal or guarantee significant playing time, relays Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. Parker hasn’t given up on his goal of playing 20 NBA seasons, but he’ll need three more to get there and it became increasingly clear that wouldn’t happen in San Antonio.

“The Spurs will always be home,” said Parker, who agreed to a two-year, $10MM contract with Charlotte. “San Antonio will always be a big part of my life. At the end, I just felt like the Hornets wanted me more.”

Parker will have a defined role in Charlotte as the primary backup to point guard Kemba Walker. Playing time wouldn’t have been guaranteed with the Spurs, who wanted him to serve primarily in a mentorship role. Parker, who spent 17 years in San Antonio and won four NBA titles, met with longtime teammate Tim Duncan two weeks ago to discuss the decision to leave.

“I never took for granted that what we did was hard,” Parker said. “Me, Manu [Ginobili] and Tim took less money in free agency every time. It’s not easy to have a dynasty. I think some people maybe took it for granted. I don’t think what we did will ever happen again.”

There’s more today from San Antonio:

  • The loss of Parker should create more playing time for Derrick White, McDonald writes in a separate story. The former first-round pick can handle either backcourt position, but is being used primarily at point guard during summer league play.
  • The Spurs haven’t decided whether to match the Grizzlies’ offer sheet for Kyle Anderson and will probably go right to today’s deadline before making an announcement, McDonald notes in a another piece. Memphis extended a four-year, $37.2MM offer to Anderson on Friday that includes a 15% trade kicker. Anderson, 24, had a career-best season in 2017/18, starting 67 of the 74 games he played and averaging 7.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals per night. The Spurs are already near the tax line, and matching Anderson’s deal would move them about $3MM closer on top of his $6.45MM cap hold.
  • The decision on Anderson could provide a clue on what the Spurs plan to do with Kawhi Leonard, McDonald tweets. If they plan to keep Leonard and try to fix their strained relationship, the Spurs won’t have significant minutes to offer Anderson. If they expect to trade Leonard before the season starts, there’s no one else on the roster who can fill Anderson’s role on defense.
  • The Spurs made a front office move over the weekend, adding former Pistons director of player personnel Adam Glessner, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link).

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 4/12/18

Here are Thursday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Spurs recalled guard Derrick White from their G League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, for the final time this season, the team announced in a press release. White helped lead Austin to the 2018 G League Championship over the Raptors 905. White averaged 24.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.75 SPG and 1.75 BPG during Austin’s G League postseason run. In 17 games with the Spurs, White averaged  3.2 PPG and 1.5 RPG.