The Chicago Bulls are plodding through the second half of a disappointing season, and questions about whether or not vice president Arturas Karnisovas will blow the roster up are running rampant.
The Bulls are currently in 11th place in the Eastern Conference with a 23-26 record, and they haven’t been able to muster a solid run all season. Chicago hasn’t won more than three games in a row all year, it has continually lost games it should have won due to inconsistent play and baffling errors. After making the playoffs last year for the first time since the 2016-17 season, fans and analysts alike are encouraging the team to blow it all up. Again.
With the NBA’s trade deadline looming on February 9, the Bulls have an opportunity to make multiple splash moves. Even if they don’t do anything major, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report made a list of one player each NBA team should “dump,” ASAP, and for the Bulls, he chose fourth-year guard Coby White.
Is Coby White Bulls’ Most Expendable Player?
The Bulls selected White in the first round out of North Carolina at No. 7 overall, and after three years of inconsistent play, the team moved him from starter to reserve — a role he has performed fairly well in.
Still, Buckley thinks White is the team’s “most expendable player,” and is urging Chicago to ship him off.
“What’s the direction that would make keeping Coby White, who has generally disappointed since arriving as the No. 7 pick in 2019, a sensible strategy?” Buckley wondered. “If the Bulls wind up buying or holding—i.e., still trying to compete—why would they suddenly start leaning on White, who’s averaging career lows in minutes, shots and usage? Conversely, if they lean into a top-to-bottom rebuild, do they want to start that project off by covering the cost of his upcoming restricted free agency.”
Coby White’s Future With Bulls Remains a Question Mark
White and the Bulls didn’t reach an agreement when the preseason deadline for rookie-scale players to agree on extensions hit last fall, and his future in the Windy City remains in question.
“We love Coby,” Donovan said in October of 2022, per NBC Sports. “I think he can play a role and help us on our team. For Coby, (the expectation is) being multi-dimensional on offense. He doesn’t have to always be a point guard. There are things to his game that in any kind of system or offense he can get into the game. He’s a terrific shooter. He’s a scorer. He can get downhill. He can pass. He can do a lot of good things. Sometimes playing off ball is good for him. Sometimes him being on the ball is good as well.”
White is coming off an 0-5 shooting performance against the Orlando Magic on January 28. It was the fifth scoreless game for White this season, although it was the first in which he played more than 10 minutes. He has scored 14 points over his last three games, one of the worst three-game stretches of the season.
Overall, White is averaging 8.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 21.2 minutes per game. He’s shooting 41.8% from the field and 36.4% from beyond the arc. While he hasn’t been the player the team hoped he would be when it drafted him, it’s arguable whether or not he’s the team’s most expendable player — and we’ll know soon enough how much Karnisovas and company value him.