Well, that was slightly sooner than expected! Aaron White's name showed up fairly often in the second round of mock drafts, but not usually until the mid-to-late 50s. But all it takes is one team to like you and tonight that team was the Washington Wizards, who selected White with the 49th pick of the NBA Draft. Congrats, Aaron!
If you're a Wizards fan wanting to know more about your new draft pick, I strongly encourage you to read up on our draft profile of White from earlier in the week:
White is fortunate that the draft is happening just a few weeks after Draymond Green and the Golden State Warriors won the NBA championship; it's a good time to be a versatile, playmaking big man. Which is not to say White comps to Green - he is not the defender or the passer that Green is - merely that Green has shown that there is a place in the NBA for unconventional forwards who fall outside the usual categories of small forward, power forward or stretch four. White has the defensive and offensive versatility to fill a variety of roles at once. He's not elite at anything, but he can do almost everything pretty well. If he develops a reliable three-point shot (a big if), he might comp to a good utility man in the league, such as Chris Copeland, Jonas Jerebko, or Marvin Williams.
Whoever drafts White will be taking a bit of a gamble: can a soon-to-be 23 year-old develop his shot to the level that he can become a serviceable NBA wing? The odds on that proposition are not good as a general rule, so some teams may shy away and opt instead for a higher-upside project. On the other hand, 6'9" players who are skilled with the ball in their hands and can rebound and get out in transition well are not exactly a dime a dozen. If a team looks at his good free throw shooting and decides that the raw materials are there to turn him into a reliable shooter, they might just find a steal late in the second round.
But, really, I encourage you to read the full profile. White is by no means a sure thing in the NBA -- I mean, he wouldn't be around at #49 if he was, you know? -- but he has real skills and in the right situation he can absolutely help your team.
Also, he did stuff like this A LOT, which is why we loved him so much:
Knock 'em dead, Dunk L'Orange.
White becomes the second-straight Hawkeye selected in the NBA Draft, after Roy Devyn Marble was taken with the 56th overall pick by the Orlando Magic last year. Can Iowa make it three in a row in 2016? No pressure, Jarrod Uthoff...
But tonight is about White. Congratulations, man. From an unheralded recruit whose only non-Iowa offer was from Duquesne to an NBA Draft pick -- that's a hell of a ride and it was a privilege to watch it for the last four years. Best of luck in D.C.