â€œWith the 29th pick in the 2008-09 draft the Detroit Pistons select forward D.J. White out of Indianaâ€ came the words of NBA commissioner David Stern as the Big 10 Player of the Year was announced to Motor City fans as the next Piston. But later that night the Pistons traded D.J. White to the newly formed Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Walter Sharpe (32nd) and Trent Plaisted (46th), two second round picks who seem to better fit the Pistons’ mold.
D.J. White, who played his college ball under the Sampson fiasco (regime) at Indiana University, earned Big 10 freshman of the year honors, and then matched that with Player of the Years honors as a senior, along with being named to the 2008 2nd team All-American squad.
White not only brings athleticism to the OKC Thunder, but the team will also benefit by his eagle-like wingspan that should reek havoc on defenses throughout the league.
White should be able to step in and relieve forward Chris Wilcox, who looks to get most of the playing time while White learns the system. After the learning curve of the NBA, the roles should be reversed in the favor of the Indiana rookie.
Whiteâ€™s wingspan should be an added plus on the boards where he averaged a double-double in his senior year in the rough-and-tumble Big 10 last season. The rookieâ€™s strongest suit might possibly be in the half court game where he has developed a strong 10-15 foot mid range jumper and can take it to the hoop if needed.
The only drawbacks to Whiteâ€™s game can be a lack of explosivess off the ball, and aggressiveness in the paint. His awkward style of bringing the ball up the floor limits his ability for an up tempo game that the Thunder looks to run.
With a little time and patience White can, and will lead the OKC Thunder to a better record than last season with his scoring in the low post and his patented baby hook from just outside the basket.
Whiteâ€™s patience should be rewarded early on due to Wilcox coming down with flu-like symptoms just before the start of the pre-season for the Oklahoma City Thunder who open against the Dallas Mavericks October 8th at a neutral site. D.J. White is favored to start if Wilcox canâ€™t answer the bell in the next couple of weeks. White has proved to head Coach P.J. Carlisemo what he can do in practice so can be a surprise start for Oklahoma City.
[tags]d.j. white, indiana hoosiers, oklahoma city thunder, nba[/tags]