The Boston Celtics have multiple players locked up for the long-term future, like Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis. While the Celtics are also likely to add Jayson Tatum to that group, they also have to think about what they’ll do with Derrick White going forward.
White will enter the third year of a four-year, $70 million contract extension he signed with the San Antonio Spurs. With his contract set to expire in 2025, the Celtics will have the opportunity to extend him before it ends. White himself gave his thoughts on the prospect of staying with the Celtics past 2025 while talking with ESPN’s Malika Andrews on NBA Today on August 1.
“I love being here in Boston. It would be cool to get an extension. We’ll see what happens during that window, but I’ve loved my time in Boston so far. My focus right now is on the season,” White said.
Trading away Marcus Smart will give White a bigger role on the Celtics than the one he’s had since being traded to the Celtics in 2022. White could earn himself a bigger payday if he thrives in an expanded role.
Joe Mazzulla Says Derrick White Will Start at Point Guard
Though it was pretty much a given that White would slot in as the team’s starting point guard with Smart gone, head coach Joe Mazzulla confirmed as much on July 26.
“Derrick will be our starting point guard,” Mazzula said. “We have the ability to play different ways with the ability to play small. We have the ability to play big, and so, with some of the changes we made, it opens up a lot of opportunities for Derrick, Payton (Pritchard), and Malcolm. So I think it’s really important that those three feel like we have an opportunity to grow them. We have an opportunity to help them on both ends of the floor, and those three guys at the guard spot is a part of our identity and part of where we need to get to on offense and defense.”
White started 70 of the 82 games he played for the Celtics during the 2022-23 season, though his role fluctuated throughout their playoff run in 2023.
Jaylen Brown’s Thoughts on Losing Marcus Smart
On July 26, Jaylen Brown commented on the Celtics losing Smart, talking the rapport the two had with one another.
“Definitely a lot of big changes,” Brown said. “Change is not always a bad thing. My brother and my teammate — and one of my best friends — is not on the team anymore. Everybody knows it — I learned so much from Marcus.”
Brown said it wasn’t always easygoing with Smart, but without him, their journey as a team changes.
“Marcus has been somebody that’s, like, we butted heads at times. We fought, we did it all, we put each other in headlocks, etc. The journey won’t feel the same without him, to be honest,” Brown said. “But it’s a part of life. It’s a part of what you do going forward. And everything he’s instilled into this organization — everything he’s instilled into this community — is still going to be with us, still carried with us. So we’re going to wish him well on his new journey. Obviously, the city of Boston is going to feel the loss of his impact when he’s no longer here, but we’ll be able to keep moving forward.”