The eighth seed and seemingly the NBA Playoffs seem like a lock for the San Antonio Spurs this season despite many struggles they faced including a ton of injuries. While this is impressive – it will be the 22nd consecutive postseason appearance for the team – there is still the matter of their two draft picks in June. That brings us to another Prospect Watch with this week’s victim being 6-foot-5, 185-pound UNC combo guard Coby White.
The freshman has played very well for UNC and has been excellent in his last two games against Syracuse and Clemson. He had 62 points total in those contests to go with 10 rebounds and eight assists. However, he’s been good all season and could be a nice piece for the Spurs to work with should they move on from anyone soon in order to clear cap space. He would also give the Spurs a little more flexibility between their two guard positions. Here are some of his stats for the season:
- 16.4 PPG, 1.0 SPG, 4.2 APG, 3.4 RPG
- 43.6 FG%, 38.3 3P%, 82.2 FT%
- 20.4 PER, 111.4 ORtg, 98.9 DRtg
The 19-year old can get buckets in bunches and is fairly comfortable playing either guard spot, something that the Spurs have come to enjoy the last few years in a few of their guards. A team can always use a guy who’s good for “spurtability”, especially since the Spurs seem to lack that at times. He can score on all three levels and what he may lack in athleticism, he makes up for with his strength and speed in getting to the rim.
White is able to get pretty much any shot he wants at any time he wants but has also gotten much better about finding his teammates and creating positive plays for them earlier in the shot clock. He was already great in transition so becoming more comfortable in half-court play will be key in his development at the next level. If he can grasp the tempo of a Roy Williams offense, then he should certainly be able to come down a notch and run a slower offense that the Spurs generally play with the bigs they have.
The current Tar Heel is a good scorer off the dribble and is excellent at setting up his defender on screens or with his own moves like a crossover or hesitation. He changes speeds well to keep defenders off balance and works fairly hard on defense. He’s aggressive getting through screens and is quick enough to stay with guys at the next level. He’s also got a sneaky good wingspan, which should help him out as well.
If the Spurs could grab White with the Toronto pick, it would be of great value and he could be another to stash with the G-League team to wait out the salary cap issues that will likely get cleared up in a couple of years once contracts run out and decisions have to be made about veterans.