Sure, it takes more than being able to convert your three-point attempts to be an NBA champion, but having reliable shooters throughout your roster is a core building block for any team wishing to contend for a championship. If some of those shooters can also help your team out in other areas, then you’re onto a winning formula.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, not all of their roster is capable of providing multi-skilled impact, and in reality, beyond the team’s incredibly strong starting five, they lack significant depth – an issue that came to haunt them during the post-season.
As such, Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey has postulated a trade that could help resolve Chicago’s depth issue without giving up a core piece of their rotation. The trade proposal looks like this:
Chicago Gets: Alec Burks
Detroit Pistons Get: Javonte Green and Coby White
“Coby White is only 22 years old. He just shot 38.5 percent from three last season. There’s probably some upside yet to uncover. But having DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic puts the Chicago Bulls in a win-now window, and Alec Burks would be a short-term upgrade. His wingspan is five inches longer, he’s a more experienced defender and he’s hit 40.1 percent of his threes over the last three seasons,” Bailey reasoned in his September 19 article.
Given White’s uninspiring start to life in the NBA, trading him away for a proven veteran makes perfect sense, while it could also be good for White’s development – assuming he can earn minutes as a back-up for Cade Cunningham.
What Does Burks Bring to The Roster?
Burks, 31, is coming off an impressive season for the New York Knicks, where the veteran guard split his time between starting and coming off the bench – he participated in 81 games, starting 44 of them.
Unlike White, Burks is a reliable secondary playmaker who can create his own shot or generate scoring opportunities for others, but his bread and butter is his reliable outside jumper, where he averaged a 40.4% clip last season on 4.8 attempts per game.
By adding the Missouri native you also get some multi-positional versatility, as the veteran guard is capable of playing three positions: point guard, shooting guard, and small forward – meaning he’s also capable of guarding multiple positions across the perimeter which brings its own upside to a modernized defensive scheme.
White’s Bulls Future in Jeopardy
White is entering his fourth year in the NBA and with the Bulls, and to this point, has failed to live up to the expectations placed upon his shoulders after he was drafted 7th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Sure, White’s 13.7 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game are impressive enough, as is his 36.5% shooting from deep, but given the fact that he’s set to enter restricted free agency next summer, and that some teams will believe they can unearth his potential – there’s a significant chance the Bulls lose their former rookie due to cap constraints.
The Atheltic’s Darnell Mayberry has similar concerns, noting that unless White shows significant improvement this season, his time in Chicago may have run it’s course
“When the salary cap is factored in, Chicago almost certainly can’t afford to commit precious resources to retain White beyond this season. He’s become more of a luxury than a necessity…White must prove he still warrants his share,” Mayberry wrote.
With White’s future clearly uncertain, if the Bulls do get the opportunity to trade him for a player such as Burks, it would be prudent of the team to do so – both for their chances this season and for White’s continued development elsewhere.