Bobcats Top to Bottom: D.J. White

Get Low on the Free Throw Big Fella

Continuing the series here at RobertoGato.com, where we take a look at each of the members of the 2010-2011 Charlotte Bobcats organization as listed by height, we come to DJ White.  When I think about DJ White, I just say to myself “I like him, solid player.”  Then I look for evidence and there’s not a whole lot to go off of.  He’s one of those that you file under eye-ball test.  He always seemed to be in the right position, always knew the situation of the game and where he fit in it.  Again, it’s a very small sample size for me, in that he saw time in 24 games for the Bobcats and no starts.  466 minutes to sum up a player to this point.  Well, let’s see how it shakes out.

Brief history, DJ White came to the Bobcats in “the other” deadline trade in 2011.  Slid in just after the Gerald Wallace trade, Charlotte sent Nazr Mohammed to the Oklahoma City Thunder for DJ White and Morris Peterson’s expiring contract, which they immediately bought out.  The interesting part of the deal was that Nazr was in the last year of his contract.  So, giving up Nazr Mohammed ($6,883,800) for Mo Pete ($6,665,000) and DJ White ($1,108,680)…but wait, there’s his $2,001,167 for the upcoming season (if there is one…don’t hate me for saying it) plus, assuming it works out the $3,001,751 quallifying offer.  So, that tells you 2 things:  #1, the Bobcats weren’t just about saving money at the deadline and #2, the Bobcats really wanted DJ White.

They were willing to take on at least an additional year and give up one of the two centers left, though at the time, they had a choice of Sean Marks and Joel Przybilla coming back from Portland in the Gerald Wallace trade.  To say that DJ White joining the Bobcats for two years in place of Nazr Mohammed who had been an efficent and solid (mostly) member of the team for 4 years was out of the blue to most fans, is a definite understatement.

White’s playing time in Oklahoma City was sporadic. Prior to the trade to Charlotte, he averaged 9.5 minutes over 23 games out of a possible 56 games.  He scored over 10 points only once.  One game (not the same as the 12 point outing) he had 7 rebounds, his high watermark on the year.  I guess playing behind Serge Ibaka, Jeff Green, Nick Collison and right out there beside some big names and solidly entrenched small forwards and centers, you don’t get to go to the coach and say “I need some more PT.”

But, despite all that the Bobcats really saw something in the young man out of Indiana.  Speaking of Indiana, as any regular reader of my posts knows, I don’t keep up with the college game.  (Although, if the lockout persists and with all the local talent (see NC PRO-AM post) I might start really watching it, basketball is basketball, except for WNBA)  Reading back over DraftExpress’s assessments of D.J. Whitein his time at Indiana, he was a solid player.  I mean if your second biggest weakness is “Man amongst Boys?” you know you’ve got a power forward that can perform given the chance.

Worth a Try...

 Nic Watson’s Take on D.J. White:

It has been at least 3 months since I have seen DJ White (or anyone really) play basketball, and he only got 24 games in with Charlotte after the trade deadline. So please forgive me if the details here are fuzzy.  But even after all that time has passed and football news is starting to fly in, you mention DJ White to me and the first thing that pops into my head is … “keeper.”  The 2010-2011 NBA trade deadline is a blur to me, much like waking up the next morning after a drunken all night bender.  One day you’ve got what you as a diehard fan believe to be a solid basketball team worthy of at least the 8th spot in the playoffs.   Next thing you know, your best player and the teams best center are gone and there you are at the next game staring at the court watching Joel Pryzbilla, Dante Cunningham and DJ White warming up.  At least there wasn’t a fat girl in the bed right?    You can see how some fans woke up after the trade deadline, confused, angry, hurt and little worried about the future.  We have discussed this franchise shaking move and its future implications a hundred times though, and this is supposed to be about DJ White so lets get to it.

DJ can play.  His numbers don’t jump out at you, and he may never be an all-star go to kind of guy but watch him play and the picture gets clearer.  In a word, the guy is “sure.”  Good hands, aware, and if you give him the ball inside 20 feet you can almost go ahead and notch the scoreboard up 2 points for the Bobcats.  Guys like this tend to get looked over but any great team has to have them.  Much like Nazr Mohammed made for a below average starting center yet an above average backup, you need depth to be any kind of a good team.   The Bobcats have a massive logjam at the power forward position right now only more clustered up by the drafting of Bismack Biyombo.  In my opinion the PF depth chart goes something like this right now.  1a. Diaw 1b. Thomas 2. Biyombo 3. DJ White and 4. Najera behind glass only to be used in an extreme emergency.    I have Biyombo ahead of White only because he’s new and loaded with potential so he gets the nod.  But once (if ever) the NBA gets the lockout situated I could easily see Boris Diaw moved in a trade.   Then you go from log jam to a bit thin, especially if you consider Biyombo a true center.   I don’t see White getting a ton of minutes next year obviously.  What I do see is a guy that will fill in some every game giving 1a and 1b a breather, and slide right in with very little drop off, in the case of injury.  You just need guys like that.

Follow Nic on Twitter:  @mustachiogato

Special to RobertoGato.com
Matt Clark and Steven Sullivan from HoosierStateofMind.com, a fellow Fansided Site covering the Indiana Hoosiers, helped immensely with the following:

DJ White: A look at the past to see the future

by Steven Sullivan (@HoosierSully16)

 

When I found out that I was going to get the opportunity to inform Charlotte Bobcat fans about DJ White it was a bitter sweet feeling.  Bitter because an avid IU fan has to be the one to talk about the kind of player he is due to the injury plagued beginning of his NBA career, but oh so sweet because I get to relive one of the best player careers in recent IU history.  To start off let me say… Have no fear Bobcats, you have yourselves a player.

DJ White on the Cover of Sports Illustrated

 

I was fortunate enough to have been at IU during the DJ White era.  That’s right, I said “era”.  I can remember back to the Midnight Madness practice his freshman year when the song “Go DJ” by Lil Wayne played and out came a lanky 6’8’’ goofy kid that nobody had really heard of.  By the end of his freshman season everyone in the country knew who he was.  His freshman season he averaged 13.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.2 blocks a game and shot 57% from the field.  This earned him B10 First Team All Freshman, B10 Freshman of the Year and First Team Freshman All-American honors.  By his senior season he was a walking double-double averaging 17.4 points and 10.3 rebounds a game earning him Second Team All-American honors.  At this point I’ll apologize to Bobcat fans because I’m sure none of this is of interest to you, but it’s hard not to reminisce.

 

So what to expect from DJ White?  You can expect a work ethic like none other.  You can expect one of the most consistent 8 to 12 foot jumpers in the game today.  Not to mention he can get that jumper whenever he wants.  He doesn’t have an impressive vertical jump, but with his 7’0’’ wing span and a release point above his head and at the peak of his vertical, very few NBA defenders will have a prayer.  If he wants it, he can take it.  He also uses his length effectively around the glass.  It goes without question that he used his time in the D-league and his little time on an NBA roster working on his strength because he needs it.  In the NBA world he’s a 4 in a 3’s body so where he lacks in athletic ability he needs to make up for in strength.  Additionally, it would have been wise for him to have extended that pure short game to around 15 feet.  He never extended himself in college because he didn’t have to.  That is probably the biggest thing he needed to work on in order for his game to translate well into the NBA.

 

Overall, in my opinion, he will be a great role player that can come off the bench and provide 15 to 25 minutes of pure energy.  Best case scenario is that he draws small forwards on the offensive end and gets strong enough to be able to effectively guard power forwards on the defensive end.  If I had to pick a veteran player to compare DJ White to in order to gauge what Bobcat fans can expect, it would be Leon Powe.  An undersized big man that battles the boards, guards bigger players and will average 9ppg / 6rbg … although it will feel like he’s putting up double doubles on a nightly basis because of the hustle he’ll demonstrate.  Without a doubt, he’ll be a fan favorite assuming he can stay healthy … and if he over achieves and works his way in to the starting line-up, tell MJ to have “Go DJ” play when they announce his name during pre-game for me… for old time’s sake.

Editor’s Note:  Please visit HoosierStateofMind, they aren’t obligated to help us out but as you can see, they know their stuff.  Follow Matt Clark (@IUfan24), their editor and Steven Sullivan (@HoosierSully16) who wrote this.

The Offer Sheet:

Under the premise we’ve set for this series, if DJ White was on the open market, unrestricted free agent, I’d go after him with gusto.  Short of paying him PF starters money, I’d definitely offer him somewhere around $4-$5 million a year for 3-5 years.  I really think he’s got it in him to be one of those tweeners that could start, would challenge the starter (added value, doesn’t show up on stats) and would be solid off the bench for 25 minutes per game.  When you figure guys like Brad Miller, Corey Brewer, Kyle Korver make that much or more, yeah I could spend that on DJ.  The good thing is, he’s cheap next year and the year after, he’s a restricted free agent with a manageable qualifying offer.

I like the guy, obviously.  Nic likes him, the guys at HoosierStateofMind like him.  What’s not to like?  He’s had his injury issues, and he was stuck behind a pile of guys in Oklahoma City.  He’s taken every opportunity given to him and then some.  He was a star at IU, in the D-League and in the 24 games, 20 minutes per at 8.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per with the Bobcats, he has shown me he was worth the trade.

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