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Derrick White likely to start at point guard after Jamal Crawford talks dwindle

Spurs

Second-year point guard Derrick White is likely to get the nod to start for the San Antonio Spurs, while veteran Patty Mills comes off the bench in the wake of Dejounte Murray’s torn ACL, according to Jabari Young of The Athletic. The Spurs were rumored to express interest in free agent guard Jamal Crawford, but “those talks did not gain traction.”

The Spurs are not expected to get another guard through trade or free agency, according to Young.

White is last in the point guard depth chart after Mills, but the Spurs prefer to keep the veteran marksman in a familiar bench role while White runs the team as a starter.

The Spurs could use Mills’ scoring and shot-making in the second unit, while they will need a facilitator and a playmaker in the starting lineup to pair with DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay and LaMarcus Aldridge, their trio of high-scoring players.

Head coach Gregg Popovich would remain mum about it, as usual, but he’s been high on the rookie from Colorado and his progress from year one to year two.

“We know what his skills are,” Popovich said of White. “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.”

It’s surely been a tough training camp for the Spurs, who are adding two players via trade and now dealing with injuries to their starting point guard in Murray and another to rookie Lonnie Walker IV, who was expected to get run with the second unit.