Celtics hoping to extend Derrick White, a potential Team USA injury replacement for Olympics, per report


Derrick White’s breakout season may include his first NBA championship, but it possibly won’t stop there for the rising Boston Celtics star. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, White has emerged as a candidate to replace Kawhi Leonard on Team USA at the Olympics if the Los Angeles Clippers forward is unable to play. Leonard has been dealing with knee inflammation since the end of the regular season, and it ultimately cost him most of his team’s first-round loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

White’s game is tailor-made for international play. Typically, players thrive within the Team USA structure when they do the little things. The roster always has more than enough scoring given the star-studded pool of American players, but defenders, passers and pace-pushers are always welcome. If White is chosen to replace an injured Leonard, he would be the third Celtic to join the team. Jayson Tatum and Jrue Holiday have already been selected to the 12-man roster.

In a perfect world, White would earn both gold and green over the summer, as he is eligible for a contract extension with the Celtics worth $126 million over four years. Re-signing him will be a priority for Boston in the offseason, and should the Celtics fail to do so, he would be set for free agency in 2025. 

Should Boston agree to a long-term extension with White as well as an inevitable five-year, super-max deal with Tatum, they would be paying their five top players roughly $200 million in the 2025-26 season. That would push Boston above the dreaded second apron and limit its ability to improve the roster in other ways.

Of course, for the short-term anyway, the Celtics don’t seem to need any roster help. The core of Tatum, Holiday, White, Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis just won 64 games and is one win away from an NBA title. The Celtics have the NBA’s best top-end depth. White is a significant part of that success. His do-it-all skill set has served him well in Boston. It would serve him well in Paris. And it could make him a very wealthy man this offseason.





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