Jerry Colangelo confirms Team USA will bring a ‘few extra’ NBA players in L.A; Derrick White a big possibility
San Antonio Spurs guard Derrick White appears poised to join USA Basketball’s practice squad, San Antonio Express-News’ Tom Osborn reports. White, 25, will enter his third season in the NBA—all with the Spurs—this fall and he’s garnering greater national attention from Team USA director Jerry Colangelo.
Colangelo has been in charge of USA Basketball since 2005 and has devoted resources towards bringing in NBA talent to the team’s roster at Summer Olympics and international competitions. Team USA and the Select Team are practicing under head coach Gregg Popovich, his first year holding the reins after taking over for Mike Krzyzewski, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I think (Derrick) White has been very, very good,” Colangelo said Thursday. “What a story that is. You talk about his journey. He is a very unique player. He’s got a gait to him. He’s got interesting floaters in the lane. He’s sly. A good passer, impressive.”
The biggest storyline, however, for USA Basketball has been many NBA stars dropping out of contention for a spot on the team, which heads to China for the 2019 FIBA World Cup later this month for September’s tournament. While the United States will still be heavily favored to win the international tournament, the mood in the room has considerably diminished following big names like Anthony Davis, Zion Williamson, and many more not attending practice.
White looks to join the fray, though, and if he doesn’t make the senior team, his appearance at the Vegas practice ostensibly pushes him closer towards a conversation about his recognition on the national stage for basketball.
Last season, the point guard White averaged 9.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game in 67 appearances for the Spurs. He’s a first-round pick of the Texas franchise from 2017 and product of the G League with the affiliate Austin Spurs.