The Boston Celtics have a very good problem at the guard position. With the addition of Malcolm Brogdon in the offseason, Derrick White has become a player who could be an early NBA Trade Deadline candidate.
With a loaded backcourt, NBA teams around the league may kick the tires on White come the trade deadline. One team has already expressed interest in White. According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the Phoenix Suns are a team to watch as they have been trying to move Jae Crowder.
I’m sure they are not the only team with interest in White, who has shown to be valuable for the Celtics as a defender at the position a player who can shoot the ball. In fact, this preseason, White has been knocking it down from beyond the stripe and showing a level of comfortability in his role since coming over in last year’s NBA Trade Deadline.
Derrick White adds depth to a loaded Boston Celtics backcourt
In a rotation of Marcus Smart, Brogdon and White, the Celtics at this point would be crazy to deal the veteran guard, especially with the injury history of Brogdon.
With hot shooting in the preseason finale against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night, White scored 23 points while going 5-of-6 from beyond the stripe.
He was simply on fire, but that is not the strength of White’s game. His strength is as a versatile defender who makes the position-less basketball the Boston Celtics have become known for even more effective.
The depth he provides is very valuable to the Celtics and their championship hopes. But a glaring need on the team is shot blocking and rim protection outside of Robert Williams who will miss the first part of the season. If that need becomes monumental, Stevens will have White as a player they could afford to part ways with if that brings back the type of big man who could add to the frontcourt.
Boston Celtics, Derrick White and the NBA Trade Deadline
If a team like the Indiana Pacers are finally willing to part ways with a Myles Turner or if John Collins is available by the trade deadline, perhaps Stevens will look at a package centering around White depending on those team’s need in the backcourt.
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But unless Celtics become a big man away from a championship, there is more reason not to trade White. There is the injury history of Brogdon and the wear and tear Smart puts on his body with his effort and intensity on the court. Have that trio of guards along with Payton Pritchard is a benefit interim head coach Joe Mazzula may not be easily willing to part with. The reason is a player like White allows the Celtics to play small ball.
It will be especially fun and special to see White in the backcourt alongside Brogdon as the duo is already showing some chemistry on the court.
"“It’s been great,” White said about the addition of Brogdon. “He’s a great player, (he) does a lot of different things out there, and he makes the game easier for a lot of people, so the times that we were together in practice felt good, and I like playing with him.”"
It is really showing on the court, which is why not trading Derrick White vs trading him is the Celtics should stand now. Unless the cohesion and chemistry goes sideways or that big man depth becomes a major hole, White is an important piece to the championship puzzle. Even if traded, his value could bring that piece that gets the team over the top.
Either way, many teams around the NBA will be monitoring White’s fit and role with the Celtics.