D.J. White’s NBA opportunity

  • 04/12/2011 7:20 pm in

Some White (No. 8 jersey) highlights from three recent Bobcats games.

For two and a half seasons, D.J. White lead a life of NBA anonymity.

He occupied the end of the bench in Oklahoma City. Spent time in the D-League.

But after a trade landed him with the Bobcats on Feb. 24, things have changed. White has seen steady minutes in a reserve frontcourt role under coach Paul Silas — in part because Tyrus Thomas has been out with injury. He’s averaging 8.3 points (52.1 percent shooting) and 4.4 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per contest.

White’s knocking down the mid-range jumper. He’s hustling down the court, beating the defense and dunking it home for two. He’s looking more filled out, mature and polished than his IU days.

White likely won’t ever be a star or even a starter.  (Silas saying he’d like White to play in the Summer League is an indication of that.) And this limited sample size of games with the Bobcats can’t paint the whole picture.

But if Charlotte retains Silas for next season — he was hired after Larry Brown’s swift departure earlier this year — it’s possible White will continue to factor into the team’s rotation. Which could set him up for a longer career in the league.

White is under contract for next season. But pending the details of a new collective-bargaining agreement, Charlotte will have the option to tender him a qualifying offer by June 30 of 2012 to make him a restricted free agent. Such an offer will a) either keep White in Charlotte for the 2012-13 season if no other team comes calling or b) have White signing an offer sheet with another team (which could be a multi-year deal) that the Bobcats will have the opportunity to match.

Lots to still be determined on this front. There are no guarantees.

But if he continued to toil away in Oklahoma City next season instead of potentially continuing to get run in 2011-12 with the Bobcats? A qualifying offer may have been less likely to come. And as an unrestricted free agent with little to no playing time under his belt, White could have faced longer odds of staying in the league.

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  • CutterInChicago

    Always a DJ3 fan.

  • Anonymous

    Great to see DJ getting PT. He looks like a player who has been on the bench and is hungry for more playing time. its called Hustle,Hustle,Hustle. One of my favorite recent Hoosiers.

  • Anonymous

    I love love love DJ white. So glad to see him get an oppurtunity to really get some playing time and perhaps fight for a starting job!

    But then again, it’s always nice to see a Hoosier playing in the NBA. And pretty soon, it shall be happening quite often.

  • Anonymous

    One of my favorite Hoosiers. Glad to see he is finding some success in the NBA.

  • SeattleHoosier

    Still love watching him play. I can still remember thinking “that’s going in” every time he shot from the post as a Hoosier. Plus, he suffered through three coaches in four years.

  • IUeconAlum

    I miss seeing DJ on the floor for IU

  • Anonymous

    Go DJ White! A great young man!

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully, we can find another DJ White. Total package of amazing ability, dedication to the program and class that is difficult to find.

  • Anonymous

    Incredible. I didn’t even recognize him at first, his body is totally different. He has really thinned out, he is light on his feet, athletic, etc. He has for sure taken his game to another level.

    Good for D.J.! Such a great guy. He more than deserves a shot and it looks like he is making the most of the opportunity!

    Go Hoosiers!

  • MPmike

    I’m surprised that D.J. is not playing considerable role minutes at the start of his career. He has really good talent. You don’t get to Big Ten Player of the Year without any talent. I always seen him as a more athletic Buck Williams. Hopefully, he will continue to get more playing time with a team that will can use his talent. If Brian Cardinal can make it in the league for over 10 years and still playing then D.J. White should be playing too. No knock on Cardinal- he is close to the same height and position.

  • Celtics could use him. Loyal, good presence in the clubhouse, nice shot, and always plays Defense. Type of player that will be appreciated more over time. Gotta root for him.

  • INUnivHoosier

    You really can’t help but root for a guy like DJ White – great talent, great work ethic, and great humility. All around good person.