Derrick White 'Real Potential Candidate' to Join Team USA

Dec 12, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Derrick White (9) reacts after his three point basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 12, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Derrick White (9) reacts after his three point basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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The Team USA men's basketball program has assembled a roster that's in the conversation for the most talented it has fielded.

While some players could pull out, especially if they're dealing with injury, Steve Kerr's squad will feature superstars like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Jayson Tatum. Joel Embiid, who dealt with a meniscus injury primarily responsible for him only playing in 39 regular season games in the current campaign, is also on the roster.

Jrue Holiday, who teamed with Tatum to help lead the U.S. men's basketball program to a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, will also suit up in Paris this summer.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, those two may have another Celtic accompanying them.

"Derrick White looms as a real potential candidate for Team USA in the Summer Olympics if Kawhi Leonard is unable to successfully rehab back from that knee inflammation that kept him out of the back end of the playoffs," reported Wojnarowski on NBA Countdown ahead of Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

White is applying the finishing touches to the best campaign of his career, which he'll likely cap with a championship. The former Colorado Buffalo averaged 15.2 points and 4.2 rebounds, personal bests, swiped a steal per game, matching his most in a season, and dished out 5.2 assists. He also knocked down 39.6% of the 6.8 threes he hoisted.

The seventh-year guard also earned his second straight All-Defensive Second Team selection. White ranked in the 91st percentile in estimated defensive plus-minus, per dunksandthrees.com.

He also finished the regular season 15th in defensive win shares, and his 1.2 blocks per contest were the second most by a guard, trailing only six-foot-seven Scottie Barnes, who swatted 1.5 shots per game.

Boston's having three representatives on Team USA without Jaylen Brown, who's also having the best season of his career and may end it by winning the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals MVP, would be peculiar.

Especially since, like White, he's played for the program in the past, with those two teaming up at the 2019 FIBA World Cup. However, White's style of play meshes perfectly with a star-studded roster.

Brown has evolved as a facilitator, relishes distributing for his teammates, and is having the best season of his career on defense. There should be no doubt about his ability to complement those already on the roster and elevate the team in an Olympic run that will likely end with a second straight gold medal.

But White, arguably the best role player in the NBA, meshes perfectly with Team USA's star-studded roster, making him an ideal fit to help their efforts to return to the top of the medal stand this summer.

Further Reading

Celtics Discuss Keeping Mavs from Building on Dominant Game 4

Dependable Xavier Tillman Discusses Learning to 'Be a Star in Your Own Role'

Celtics Detail Keys to Perhaps Their Best Quarter This Postseason

Celtics Weather Late Storm to Move Within One Win of Banner 18

Sports Doctor Details Challenges, Risks of Kristaps Porzingis Playing in NBA Finals

Jrue Holiday's 'Championship DNA' Rubbing Off on Celtics

Stifling Defense Moves Celtics Halfway to Banner 18

Jayson Tatum's Joy Outweighing Pressure of NBA Finals Return

Inside the Moment that Propelled Celtics to NBA Finals Game 1 Win

Celtics Set the Tone for the NBA Finals with Game 1 Haymaker


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Bobby Krivitsky

BOBBY KRIVITSKY

Bobby Krivitsky's experiences include covering the NBA as a credentialed reporter for Basketball Insiders. He's also a national sports talk host for SportsMap Radio, a network airing on 96 radio stations throughout the country. Additionally, he was a major-market host, update anchor, and producer for IMG Audio, and he worked for Bleacher Report as an NFL and NBA columnist.