Last time we saw Washington Wizards second round draft pick Aaron "Flight" White, he was struggling in the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging a hearty 3 points points per game on 31 percent shooting and 0 for 9 from 3. He did have this dope tip-slam though.
White clearly wasn't ready to make the leap to the NBA, so he signed a deal with Telekom Baskets Bonn of the Basketball Bundesliga (the top league in Germany), where he could earn consistent playing time, rock a pink jersey, and answer some of life's most important questions, like "Steve Harvey or Ellen DeGeneres?"
When not fulfilling his duties as the team's cultural critic at large, our boy is actually balling out a little bit, leading Telekom in minutes, points, and rebounds averaging 13.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1 assist, all while sinking a solid 54 percent of his shots and registering a PER of 20.65. White is however, shooting just 28 percent from three on one and a half attempts per game, a far cry from the 35 percent he shot from 3 during his final year at Iowa. Part of this is due to scheme -- 1.5 attempts per game is not very many -- but for him to succeed at the highest level the three-pointer has got to become a part of his game.
Most European things take some conversion to make sense in an American context, and buckets are no different. Luckily for us, John Hollinger cooked up the formula a few years back: You take a European player's per-36 statistics, field goal percentage and PER (18.3/8.5/1.4/54%/14.5/20.65 for White), throw some math at it (if you really want to know the specifics, you can read about them here), and then voila, you get a pretty decent representation of what their per-36 stats would be in the NBA. In the case of Aaron White? 13 points, 10 boards and 1.8 dimes on 42 percent shooting with a PER of 14.5.
Everyone's favorite stretch-4 of the 2016 draft, Bobby Portis? 16.3, 10.9, and 1.4 per-36 on 45 percent shooting and a PER of 14.5. Not bad for a guy picked 39th overall.
Footage of White in Europe is tough to come by, but from what I've been able to find, he's showcased three skills that could help the Wizards right away: An ability to finish in transition:
An ability to hiit the wide open 3
And an ability to attack closeouts with the dribble drive.
What can we take away from all of this?
Well for one, Aaron White is a productive player in one of Europe's most competitive leagues. He's not a stretch-four as much as he is a playmaking-four, which in the modern NBA could be much more important. Oh, and his taste in daytime television is still at a Euroleague-level. Can't win ‘em all, I guess.