According to multiple reports, Aaron White, the Wizards' second round pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, has signed a one-year deal to play with Telekom Baskets Bonn of the German Bundesliga for the 2015-16 season.
From the moment Aaron White was drafted, it looked like he would start his professional career overseas, with several reports stating the Wizards planned to stash him overseas. When the Wizards filled all 15 roster spots before he had a chance to prove himself in Summer League, it made the writing on the wall hard to ignore.
But honestly, it was probably for the best White didn't have a chance to earn a spot on the team this season, because if it had been an open tryout, it would have gone very badly. White averaged 3.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and only shot 30.8 percent from the field (including 0-9 beyond the arc) in 17.5 minutes of action per game. He wasn't even in the starting lineup for the final four games in Las Vegas.
In brief spurts, White showed he had the athletic ability to play on the NBA level in Summer League:
The problem for White is he's just not comfortable playing as a stretch four. While White grew as a shooter, particularly in his final season at Iowa, he was still most effective with the ball inside the arc as a scorer and facilitator. As it is, White is really only comfortable taking spot-up shots beyond the arc. He wasn't great a driving from the perimeter, or even doing much ballhandling.
But that's what's great about White signing to play in Germany next season. He'll learn how to diversify his game to fit the European style of play, which will help bring out his potential as a stretch four on the NBA level. While we're big advocates of the D-League around here, this is one of the cases where White may be better served spending a year overseas from a development perspective.
The move also helps the Wizards from a financial perspective. White will not count against the team's cap or take up a roster spot next season, which wouldn't be the case if he was languishing on the bench or playing in the D-League. This also means he won't count against the cap as they pursue you-know-who next summer. In fact, it actually gives the Wizards a nice, cheap option to fill out their roster next season once all the big decisions have been made and the Wizards' cap space is gone.
Delayed gratification is never ideal, but stashing Aaron White in German for a season is the best move for both parties right now. As situations change, White will have more chances to show he belongs in the NBA.