We thought we had good news for Derrick White, but it turned out to be a lie. Two days after being named starting point guard for his San Antonio, White suffered a heel injury that will keep him out indefinitely.
The former Buffaloes point guard was given starting position after incumbent starter and rising star Dejounte Murray tore his ACL on Sunday night. White was already set to be a key bench player, but Murray’s injury meant that he would immediately step in to manage an established Spurs squad. He was always going to be tested, but considering how rapidly White has improved with every new challenge, we had high hopes that this would be a breakout season.
This comes after White played in just 17 NBA games in last season. He played so sparingly partly because the Spurs wanted him to develop in the G League instead of languish on their veteran-heavy bench. Another part, however, was that White injured his wrist early in the season, missed lots of time in his recovery, then spent the rest of the season getting back into form. For the Spurs to play him more than they did could have stunted his development. White did prove himself in leading the Austin Spurs to the G League championship, and he earned a spot on San Antonio’s playoff roster.
White’s recovery will be key to keep an eye on. The early reports have him out 6-8 weeks, but the timetable is still indefinite. If he recovers well from his left plantar fascia tear and isn’t hampered by it lingered the rest of the year, this could still be a big year for him, just 6-8 weeks delayed.
This is unfortunate news for White’s team because there’s no obvious way to replace him. Patty Mills, the Spurs’ long time sixth man, will stay in that position. After injuries to Murray, White and 2018 first round pick Lonnie Walker IV, that leaves just Bryn Forbes to start at point guard. Forbes is a great shooter, but that’s really all he provides. After him, San Antonio is expected to sign former Arizona star Nick Johnson to the NBA roster.