Marvin (Richmond, Va.): You’ve talked about how Jonas has gained weight and improved, but how about Terrico White? Did he gain any muscle or weight or work on his skills? How did he look during the time he actually practiced with the team?
Langlois: By the time White was finally cleared to practice after recovering from a broken foot that was expected to sideline him for about eight weeks, he reported to Pistons staff that he was experiencing foot pain not long after he was cleared to practice. Media are not allowed to watch practice, Marvin, so I can’t tell you how he looked. I suspect that he really got very little opportunity to show much. It was well into the season when he was cleared and by that point, coaches across the NBA really start pulling back. There aren’t many practice days available – not when you factor in games, travel and the necessity of giving players an occasional day off to let their bodies recuperate. It was largely a wasted year for White in that he, far more than anyone, really needed court time more than anything. His body was never the issue – it was skill work (and some of that he was able to do, working with Arnie Kander on ballhandling and agility drills and the like) and feel, the type of thing you really only gain from five-on-five, full-court basketball. The Pistons were more sold on White’s need to soak up D-League experience than any player they’ve ever had except for Amir Johnson. They were fully prepared and eager to send him to Fort Wayne for a few weeks at a time. Not getting that D-League experience makes it tough to predict White’s future. Time doesn’t stand still for anyone in the NBA. Look at what happened with Milwaukee’s second-rounders last year. The Bucks took Tiny Gallon of Oklahoma and Darrington Hobson of New Mexico. Gallon didn’t show them much and was cut before training camp. Hobson suffered a hip injury and the Bucks cut ties with him, too. White will have to seize on the next opportunity for him to impress. It won’t help him if there’s a lockout this summer that wipes out Summer League. He’s an enormously gifted athlete, but NBA teams knew that going into last year’s draft. They wanted to see if he could master the nuance of the game, and he simply didn’t answer any of those questions in his rookie season.
Considering how little the Pistons used the D-League, this is fairly surprising. I’m glad to hear the Pistons are willing to take advantage of the resources at their disposal.
As far as White’s future with the Pistons, Langlois basically echoed what Patrick has been saying all along.
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