Why Celtics Shouldn’t Panic Over….

The Boston Celtics weren’t able to address all roster-related affairs, leaving Derrick White and the front office with some unfinished business entering the official start of the 2023-24 season.

Boston and White failed to agree on an extension before Monday night’s deadline, keeping the 29-year-old in Celtics Green at least until 2025. At that point, White hits the market as an unrestricted free agent.

Does this raise any red flags for the C’s? No, not at all.

Although White enters the clean slate with an inherently vital role following the offseason departures of Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon, there’s no rush to strike a deal. Both sides walk into the new year with a new-look roster that, on paper, should outclass last season’s, but that’s just a projection — which only goes so far.

If the past few months proved anything, it’s that Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck is willing to go to whatever lengths and pull whatever trigger Boston’s higher-ups deem necessary in order to reach the finish line and raise Banner 18. In some instances, that came with letting go of a household name or two, but in others, that also meant dishing out some big bucks and backing up that commitment.

With that in mind, if all goes well, nothing has suggested that the Celtics wouldn’t reward White or Jrue Holiday — who could also ink an extension with Boston and is under contract for just one year. The front office already committed to Kristaps Porzingis, signing the 7-foot-3 blockbuster addition to a two-year, $60 million extension before the preseason even began.

Last season, while playing alongside Smart and Brogdon, White was Boston’s standout defensive guard, finishing in the NBA All-Defensive Second Team after recording a team-high 76 blocks. That didn’t just come against opposing guards either as White unlocked a new level of defensive versatility that ultimately helped him survive an offseason wave of changes.

Pending an expected campaign, coupled with some new-look results from the Celtics as a whole, and White could be next in line for a summer payday — similar to Jaylen Brown who inked an extension following last season

With Smart and Brogdon gone and White in with Holiday, the Celtics have a chance to pose the league’s most effective defensive back-court. Not many teams have even the potential, much less the depth to make that happen. So that formula could create an untouchable-like component that Boston would prioritize keeping around Jayson Tatum and Brown for a multi-year span.

As far as the soft-spoken Colorado product is concerned, White doesn’t envision a Boston departure at any point in the future.

“(Contract negotiations) we’re good. Like I said, I love being here,” White told reporters before Tuesday night’s season-opener against the New York Knicks, per CLNS Media video. “Obviously, we got another year after this one so focus on it then. I think they went well and I wanna be here for a long time so that hasn’t changed.”

White added: “I think we’re both in a good position.”

Needless to say, there’s a lot on the line for the Celtics with a season of opportunity filled with various other favorable circumstances in place.


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