For the situation Derrick White currently is in, the fate of his immediate future can ebb and flow with each passing workout.
Turn in a few good days, as White did at the NBA combine in Chicago earlier this month, and his draft stock soars. Still, a bad day on the circuit of team workouts White has been undergoing lately can douse the interest of a potential employer.
With the NBA draft about one month away, White remains in the midst of his extended audition in front of NBA scouts and front office personnel. It often is a precarious situation, as the individual pressure mounts to put on a show.
Yet White might be uniquely suited to these sorts of showcases. After all, the now-former Colorado Buffaloes star has made a living out of turning heads since he was an overlooked and undersized Division II prospect coming out of Legend High School in Parker.
“I’m just trying to continue proving myself every day,” White said. “At these workouts, everybody is kind of at the same level right now and you’ve got to go out and continue to have that chip on your shoulder and continue to do the things that got you to this point.”
White currently is based out of a rented house in White Plains, New York, along with several other NBA prospects in an arrangement put together by his agent, Mike Lindeman of Excel Sports Management.
In addition to his impressive showing at the NBA combine two weeks ago, White also has gone through individual workouts for Indiana, Milwaukee, San Antonio, and Orlando. White has two more workouts scheduled with the New York Knicks and Philadelphia, and he expects to go through six to eight more before the June 22 draft.
“I think I surprised some people with how well I tested (at the combine),” White said. “I think I showed some people more than what they thought I could do. Just athletically, and the times I put in the shuttle and my vertical. I’m just trying to take it day by day. When I go into these workouts I just try to be the best guy in the workout. I’m just trying to learn and improve on the mistakes I’ve made in the past. I’m trying to enjoy the whole process because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I’ll never get to do again.”
His big showing at the Chicago combine has solidified White’s status as a likely second-round pick in next month’s 60-player, two-round draft. One offered by draftexpress.com has White pegged as the top pick in the second round (No. 31 overall).
After his impressive lone season with the Buffs — White averaged 18.1 points and recorded 148 assists, the eighth-best singe-season mark in program history — White is on track to end CU’s two-season hiatus from the NBA draft by becoming the first Buffaloes player selected since Spencer Dinwiddie went to Detroit in the second round of the 2014 draft.
“I’m not really paying attention to (mock drafts) a whole lot,” White said. “It doesn’t really mean a lot right now. If you think you’re a first-rounder and you’re going against a guy who’s supposed to be a second-rounder and they dominate you, that’s not a good look. You’ve just got to go in there and not worry about any of that and just show what you can do each and every day.”