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D.J. White: Season Report Card

PER PER Against (Net)
D.J. White 12.46 19.22 (-4.14)

Strengths: White has been another good find for the organization, much in the same vein as Derrick Brown and Byron Mullens. He has proved himself to be a valuable rotation player who can knock down a mid-range jumper (40+ percent up to and including 16-23 feet) and rebound effectively on the defensive end (17.2% Defensive Rebound Rate). For the most part he plays within himself and the team concept (when there is one).

Weaknesses: White is not a supreme athlete, which limits him on defense while also making it difficult for him to compete on the offensive boards. He cut a bunch of weight since arriving from OKC, which has undoubtedly aided his conditioning; however, he needs to get stronger so that he can muscle more PF’s in the paint. He remained an effective defensive rebounder this season, but his numbers dropped off YOY (19.6 vs. 17.2).

Reasons for Optimism: White is the type of player in which what you see is what you get. He doesn’t have much more upside, outside of continuing to improve on his weaknesses and sharpening his mid-range stroke. One thing I like about White is his attitude though, which leads me to believe he’ll put in the work to improve in some of the aforementioned areas. As a former Big Ten Player of the Year and 1st round pick who was forced to earn it in the D-League, it’s clear he appreciates the opportunity he’s been given in Charlotte.

Reasons for Pessimism: As I just touched upon, his upside is limited. However, that’s the case for a lot of players. There are plenty of guys in the League that lack ideal athleticism and size who work harder than others to manufacture productive NBA careers. God given tools give some players a head start, though many times they’re surpassed by others who work at it and refine their skills. Let’s hope White belongs to the latter cohort.

Forecast: White is a restricted free agent this off-season. Meaning – the Bobcats must sign him to his qualifying offer of just over $3 million or he becomes an unrestricted free agent and can sign with whichever team he chooses. If the Bobcats do make him the qualifying offer (which is likely), they have the right of first refusal should another team sign him to an offer sheet which is more lucrative than the 1-year $3 million contract. Personally, I could see a team giving him more than a year at a comparable $3 million salary. If that does happen, it will be interesting to see how the Bobcats front office handles the situation. I think they would probably match an offer if it’s only for an extra year at a similar salary, though beyond that it could be too rich for Jordan’s blood.

Assuming White does suit up as a Bobcat next season, I expect somewhat of a bounce back year for him. If he continues to improve his jump shot in addition to getting stronger and reverts back to the kind of defensive rebounder he was in seasons past, he will give the team a solid 15-20 minutes off the bench in substitute of Biyombo and (hopefully) Anthony Davis.