Spurs select Buffs G Derrick White with No. 29 pick in NBA draft

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FILE – In this Jan. 28, 2017, file photo, Colorado guard Xavier Johnson, left, hoists guard Derrick White at the end of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Oregon in Boulder, Colo. Colorado won 74-65. The San Antonio Spurs selected White with the 29th pick in the NBA draft Thursday, June 22. (AP Photo/David Zalubowsk, File))

SAN ANTONIO | Surreal.

That is the only way Derrick White could describe his ascension from a high school player with 1 1/2 college scholarship offers to becoming a first-round pick of the vaunted San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio selected White with the No. 29 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night.”It’s crazy to be a part of the Spurs organization,” White said. “They have a great history and Coach Pop (Gregg Popovich) has done an amazing job there. I just want to get there and join the Spurs way.”

The 6-foot-5 combo guard averaged 18.3 points in his lone with the Buffaloes. Primarily a point guard, he shot 40 percent on 3-pointers and averaged 4.3 assists in 32.9 minutes. White started his career at Division II Colorado-Colorado Springs before transferring for his senior season.

White credits the move to Division I for his first-round selection.

“They saw I was able to produce at the highest level of college basketball,” White said. “Colorado was amazing, they allowed me to develop and get better each year I was there. So, it was huge for my draft stock.”

Coming out of Legend High School in Parker, Colorado, Parker only received a scholarship offer from a junior college in Wyoming and a partial scholarship to Colorado Springs.

“It just drove me to get better each time,” White said of the limited opportunities. “You have the doubters, you just put a little chip on your shoulder. It was humbling at times, but it made me work harder just to keep that chip on my shoulder to continue to never be satisfied.”

San Antonio also had the 59th pick late in the draft.

White’s selection is the first step in what could be a frenzied offseason for the Spurs.

San Antonio is reportedly interested in adding All-Star point guard Chris Paul through free agency, but would have to clear salary cap space to do so. That possibility has led to trade speculation about LaMarcus Aldridge and fellow starter Danny Green.

The Spurs must also decide whether to re-sign free agents Patty Mills, Jonathon Simmons, Dewayne Dedmon and David Lee. Pau Gasol is a free agent after declining his $16.2 player option for next season, but wants to remain in San Antonio on a longer deal that will provide the team with more cap flexibility.

The Spurs are also awaiting a decision by veteran guard Manu Ginobili on whether he will retire or return for a 16th season.