Derrick White é “promovido” para seleção americana
O San Antonio Spurs pode ter um representante no elenco de jogadores da seleção americana que disputará a Copa do Mundo de basquete neste ano. De acordo com reportagem de Ric Bucher, dos veículos americanos Bleacher Reporter e Fox Sports 1, Derrick White foi promovido ao elenco principal do Team USA e vai brigar por uma vaga na competição.
Comandada por Gregg Popovich, técnico do Spurs, a seleção se apresentou nessa segunda-feira (5) composta pelos armadores Donovan Mitchell, do Utah Jazz, Kyle Lowry, do Toronto Raptors, e Kemba Walker e Marcus Smart, do Boston Celtics, pelos alas Harrison Barnes, do Sacramento Kings, Khris Middleton, do Milwaukee Bucks, Kyle Kuzma, do Los Angeles Lakers, P.J. Tucker, do Houston Rockets, Thaddeus Young, do Chicago Bulls, e Jaylen Brown e Jayson Tatum, do Boston Celtics, e pelos pivôs Bam Adebayo, do Miami Heat, Brook Lopez, do Milwaukee Bucks, Mason Plumlee, do Denver Nuggets, e Myles Turner, do Indiana Pacers.
White fazia parte de um elenco de jovens convidados para as atividades preparatórias para a Copa do Mundo. Na mesma situação, estavam os armadores De’Aaron Fox, do Sacramento Kings, Jalen Brunson, do Dallas Mavericks, e Trae Young, do Atlanta Hawks, os alas Jaren Jackson Jr, do Memphis Grizzlies, Joe Harris, do Brooklyn Nets, Jonathan Isaac, do Orlando Magic, Mikal Bridges, do Phoenix Suns, Pat Connaughton, do Milwaukee Bucks, e Torrey Craig, do Denver Nuggets, e os pivôs Jarrett Allen, do Brooklyn Nets, John Collins, do Atlanta Hawks, Marvin Bagley III, do Sacramento Kings, e Mitchell Robinson, do New York Knicks.
Porém, de acordo com Bucher, as boas atuações de White fizeram com que o representante do Spurs fosse promovido. Assim, o armador deve fazer parte do elenco principal entre os dias 13 e 15 de agosto, quando a seleção dará sequência à sua fase de preparação na Califórnia. Vale lembrar que Pop pode levar apenas 12 jogadores em sua lista final para o torneio.
Os americanos estreiam na Copa do Mundo dia 1º de setembro, contra a República Tcheca.
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Derrick White is being invited to LA when Team USA reconvenes there next week, a program official told me, which essentially means he has been promoted from the select practice squad to the World Cup roster. (Look for Marvin Bagley to be promoted as well.) One coach told me White was the best player on either team in the Day 2 scrimmages and on Day 3 I saw him damn near replicate that with my own eyes as the select squad played the World Cup squad to a draw in consecutive 10-minute scrimmages. With that, I owe one of my Twitter followers an apology. Last season he touted White as one of the league’s next superstars and I scoffed at the time; I thought he was good but I hadn’t seen anything that merited all that. I have now. He still has to develop a 3-pt shot but his vision and court savvy were on full display as he either hit guys even before they knew they were open or created space to get his own; all that with + defense if not ++ defense. As a Spurs beat writer said to me, “The Spurs found another one.” Indeed they have. Let’s be clear: this isn’t a star-studded camp and White is far from a finished product. But he has elements you can’t teach and the physical tools to utilize them. Do not be surprised if he is both on this summer’s World Cup squad AND next summer’s Olympic squad — in part because the program intends to go young with the team playing back-to-back summers, in part because White has been that good. If I sound hyped, it’s because I am. I love both surprises and players who dominate simply by seeing what’s there a half-second before everybody else. That’s DW.