There seems to be a consensus on the PtR site that the Derrick White trade was in the best long term interest of the Spurs. That Derrick had reached his ceiling, and DeJounte Murray, a fringe All-Star and the heir apparent, Josh Primo, as DJ's sidekick in the backcourt, rendered Derrick expendable. Perhaps we'll need more perspective with time to fully evaluate the trade and its ramifications, including whether, with a bottom of a first round pick in a trade, the Spurs received good value.
But I couldn't resist reminding Pounders what we've lost in the trade. True, Derrick's shooting has remained off his historical averages this season, but what if his shooting efficiency returns or even improves? Leaving aside his offense, did his defense alone make a strong case for keeping Derrick? From the Celtics' blog, here's their reference to Mark Schindler of Basketball News:
"..... And the Flower Mound native [ Marcus Smart ] is not alone in his tendencies toward defensive impenetrability for the Celtics, with backcourt teammate Derrick White getting some love from Schindler for the All-Defensive Second Team as well.
"Admit it, you thought we were going to say Robert Williams III — and perhaps they should have, but Boston’s defensive menaces are thick this season, with plenty of plausible candidates.
"When the Celtics went all-in on Derrick White at the trade deadline, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic," writes Schindler.
"He fits everything ‘Boston’, he continues. "He can switch, he’s hard-nosed at the point of attack, he’s incredibly active and intuitive off the ball and he makes disruptive plays."
"If someone asked me who I thought the most technically sound defender in the league is, I’d probably go on a seven-minute, glowing rave about Derrick White any day of the week. Being solid is a good thing and also an incredibly hard thing to do. Defensive awards are all about consistently being good — not just overwhelming moments strung together. White navigates screens well, but his fight to reconnect on the back end and contest late, and tip or block a shot, is special. The secondary and tertiary efforts set him apart."
"There are a lot of players who tend to approach basketball in a segmented way (not a bad thing, it’s just natural!)," suggests Schindler, "but White attacks each possession continually — always on a swivel, always roaming, always filling the gaps."