Derrick White voted most underrated player by his peers in recent anonymous survey

Detroit Pistons v Boston Celtics
Detroit Pistons v Boston Celtics / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

The Boston Celtics' historic campaign has earned them ample praise from the media, and now their peers are taking notice.

The Athletic dropped its annual league-wide straw poll, in which current players anonymously vote on various superlatives. Some topics are more taboo and garner less response, but most questions net over 120 answers. 

Anything from "best defender" to "who would you least likely want to fight" is on the board. Despite several Celtic nominees, Derrick White was the only one to win an award, securing the honor as the league's most underrated player. 

“I say that every single day: He’s one of the most underrated players in the league," said one anonymous voter. "They talk about him more (now), but they still don’t talk about him enough.”

"White defends really well and does a little bit of everything on offense," another added.

Derrick White has blossomed with the Boston Celtics

When White was first shipped to Boston, he was an intriguing combo guard with excellent defensive versatility. His most significant detriment was that he looked uncomfortable on the offensive end. The shot had a noticeable hitch at the top of the release, and his dribbling was robotic and erratic. 

During the 2022 Finals run, White was a glorified glue guy. He had some moments, but he often looked scared of the ball. Teams weren't scared of him on the perimeter and dared him to shoot. Even in a low-risk trade, the move caught heavy scrutiny.

Fast forward a few years, and White is a wildly different player. His accuracy beyond the arc has been a revelation and transformed his offensive ceiling. With the rock, he's far more precise. He puts immense pressure on the defense, knifing toward the basket or quickly stopping and hurling a floater in the lane. 

What makes him truly special is his uncanny ability as a guard to block shots. He's a mini-rim protector, swallowing up unsuspecting opponents attempts. At the point of the attack, few are better at navigating screens or forcing turnovers. There's a case for White being the best two-way guard in the league.

It's nice to see such a class act flourish and get appropriately recognized for his tremendous play. At 29, guys tend to plateau, but White has the ability to age rather well. He's no longer underrated—he's just that guy. He can thank his peers for the tremendous PR because he can use this honor in his upcoming contract negotiations this summer.