The Best NBA Free Agent No One Is Talking About

By: 12.08.11  •  13 Comments
Terrico White

Terrico White

Let me string you along. I’m talking really unknown… like not even David Kahn is talking about this cat right now (and he’s willing to go after old men in the draft who change their names). You could call this the end of the road, but the journey never really began. Not with the lockout this summer and fall, and not with a season-ending foot injury last year. He’s a dunking machine, and in one of the most anticipated showcase games during this lockout, he stole the show. So why isn’t anyone talking about Terrico White? Probably because he just became a free agent last night.

In a move that was slightly surprising to some considering Detroit drafted White out of Mississippi and haven’t really had the chance to get a look at him in NBA action, the brass in Motown cut the combo guard last night. Here’s the tweet from White himself:

Just got the news from @detroitpistons that they letting me go. Really didn’t get a chance because of injury. Putting it in God hands now.

From the start, things never worked out for White in Detroit. He was a second rounder playing behind Rodney Stuckey, Will Bynum, Ben Gordon and Rip Hamilton, and because of the fractured right foot he suffered in the 2010 preseason, White never played at all.

I hooked up with White and his crew back in June, and his trainer, Adam Wilson, told me this dude’s athleticism was out of this world. He was expecting a Russell Westbrook-like leap this season. Asking for a second-round pick to suddenly become an All-Star is too much. But White did have the size (6-5), the athleticism (he really might be the best athlete in the NBA) and the skills (has played a lot of point guard) to draw the comparisons – at least in his game – with Westbrook.

It doesn’t look like there will be a transformation of the point guard position, as a few people hinted to me over he summer, but I think White gets a shot somewhere.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the Pistons made this decision a long time ago, but couldn’t do anything about it until after the lockout was lifted. Apparently, they weren’t impressed with White’s work ethic in getting back from the foot injury and felt he bristled at the idea of being sent down to the D-League last season.

So now here’s White: a second rounder with no backup plan besides playing somewhere overseas, with no NBA experience to show suitors, coming off a season where he didn’t play at all for a team in complete disarray and yet still someone so spectacular that he took over a game headlined by NBA All-Stars like Kevin Durant and LeBron James. Peculiar right?

In a free agent class severely lacking in star talent, maybe it’ll be the small moves – the ones that are noticed and forgotten in 24 hours – that make all the difference for teams this season and beyond.

Who are the guys out there who can make an impact that are being overlooked?

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