Weight: 190 pounds
Position: Point Guard
Derrick White is a very versatile combo guard with plenty to like in his game, particularly on offense.
White can score in a number of ways. He is very comfortable in the pick-and-roll where his combination of size, IQ, shooting, and passing makes him very difficult to stop. He has a great feel for the game, understands how to change speeds, and knows when to shoot and when to distribute.
White is also capable of operating off the ball as he is an excellent shooter. Not only deadly in spot-up situations, but he also showed the ability to run off screens as well which gives teams plenty of options in using him on that end.
He isn’t strictly a shooter, however, as he is more than capable of finishing in the paint via his floater which he makes at a great rate, as well as a variety of different layups.
His size at the point guard position really helps his court vision as well. He sees the floor very well and has good timing on his passes.
White certainly has some serious concerns, starting with his lack of elite athleticism. He is a good athlete, but not a great one, with an average first step. He may struggle to get by some of the top defenders at the next level because of this.
It also hurts him on the defensive end. He competes hard and moves his feet well, but he just doesn’t have the speed to keep up with top level guards on a regular basis.
There is also concern about his age. White spent five years in college and will be 23 in July, so there is the obvious question as to how much better he will get. Teams often lean towards younger guys with a little more upside. But perhaps after Malcolm Brogdon’s excellent season teams will be a little more open to taking an older player.
Player Comparison: Greivis Vasquez
Greivis Vasquez has been able to carve out a role for himself because of his size, shooting ability, high IQ, and ability to play both guard positions. White would be wise to follow the same blueprint.
Much like Vasquez, White relies more on skill than athleticism to be effective and can play both on and off the ball. He can shoot and distribute on offense and works hard on defense.
He has similar concerns as far as being able to keep up with quicker guards on defense and beat guys off the dribble due to an average first step, but with his skill level, it’s hard to see White not being productive at the NBA level.
Fit with the Lakers
White being a possible selection for the Lakers is obviously dependent on who they take with the second overall pick. If Lonzo Ball or De’Aaron Fox is the choice, then White may not make sense, but if the Lakers go with Josh Jackson, White becomes an intriguing possibility.
With both D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson seemingly better as off-ball options, the Lakers could still use another point guard. White would make sense as he would give the Lakers another versatile player who can man both guard positions and fit with both Russell and Clarkson.
Positionless basketball and versatility is what Luke Walton is striving for, and White fits that mold. He also gives the Lakers a much-needed shooter on the roster.