Coby White may be 6-foot-5, but his hair has him closer to 6-foot-7. Either way, the former North Carolina guard is widely projected as a first-round pick in tonight’s NBA Draft (7 p.m. EST, ESPN).
In his one year in Chapel Hill, White tallied 16.1 points and 4.1 assists per game in a tough Atlantic Coast Conference. He canned over 35 percent of his triples, but also coughed up 2.7 turnovers per contest.
Just today, his draft projections saw a boost with the New York Knicks giving him a private workout early Thursday morning. They own the No. 3 pick in the draft, which ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski insists will still go to Duke’s R.J. Barrett.
While most prognosticators don’t have him that high, he is still looking at a possible lottery selection (meaning a guaranteed contract of at least $2 million a season). Let’s see where most have White going tonight in Brooklyn.
Coby White NBA Draft Projections & Mocks
In terms of mock drafts, our own Jonathan Adams has him going No. 7 to the Chicago Bulls. This is also what SI.com’s Jeremy Woo is thinking. He says that White provides “additional shooting and playmaking” to pair with Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn.
The Bulls would likely be happy with either of White or Garland making it to them at No. 7, given that point guard is their primary area of long-term need, but it’s entirely possible neither one makes it to this spot. Whether either guard falls is contingent on whatever trades take place, and Chicago could decide to get aggressive and trade upward…
…He has some untapped potential as a lead guard, good size for his position, and his outside shooting gives him a strong development base.
ESPN has White going a spot higher to the Phoenix Suns. This would make him the third point guard selected after Ja Morant at No. 2 and Darius Garland at No. 6.
Coby White Scouting Report & Best Fit
White deserves a bunch of credit for running the point for North Carolina’s up-tempo offense, which was the sixth-fastest attack per Ken Pomeroy last season. It’s this strength that Eric Fawcett of NBC Canada emphasizes in his scouting report.
White is extremely difficult to contain off the dribble. His speed puts a ton of pressure on his defender to protect the paint but he’s got the pull up jumper to punish them if they give him too much space. Once he gets a step on his man he can also be a decent passer, usually keeping his eyes up for a potential cutter or a relocating spot up shooter. If he decides to take it all the way to the cup he’s got an advanced set of finishing skills for a player of his age and that adds even more to his offensive arsenal.
The best transition team that also has a realistic shot at White is the Suns. They ranked No. 12 in tempo last season. Phoenix needs a point guard to complement with Devin Booker, but with White, they also add another shooter to the floor.
To unlock his full potential on offense, the Suns need to continue developing last year’s No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton into a better transition threat. If Phoenix is content just posting the 7-footer on the block, White might be better served in Chicago.