James White is an interesting developing story in Anaheim. He is second in the league in scoring, averaging 22.9 points per game, while shooting a sensational 55.3% from the field. And hes not just dunking the ball to keep the percentage high. He is using his superior foot speed and first dribble to drive by the defender and finish at the rim with a variety of lay-ups and short shots.
Additionally, his midrange game has also greatly improved, as he has consistently hit his jump shots, often by keeping the defender on his heels with the threat of his deadly drive, allowing him to pull up sharply and hit the open jumperin truly impressive fashion. His form is significantly improved and he gets his shot off quickly while using his athleticism to create outstanding separation from his defender. His long range shooting percentage is not as consistent as we would like to see, but he is still shooting a respectable 35% from behind the arc, on about 3.5 attempts per game. The improvement to his form and the open shots hes drawing should start to nudge that number up over the course of the season.
Defensively, he looks pretty solid, able to read the passing lanes effectively and use his superior athleticism and wingspan to guard most D-league players, ranging from point guards to power forwards even. Coming off the bench as a lock down defender with elite athleticism is probably where his role in the NBA would have to be right nowwhich means focusing even more on his abilities on the defensive end. However, his developing offensive game and ball handling skills certainly give him a tremendous amount of upside even this late into his career, despite being already 26 years old.
White still has a tendency to complain animatedly after any foul call made against him a big red flag for NBA teams. He also occasionally shrugs his shoulder when the offensive play is not called for him and looks uninvolved, a problem which plagued him on occasion in college where he would go through long stretches without being involved in the action. His body language has never been his strong suit after all. These attitude problems are going to need to be investigated by NBA teams before they call him up, as teams are hesitant to add role players mid-season that might bring drama or baggage. However, his all-around game and athleticism is certainly worthy of a call-up to the big leagues this season.