Bulls Rising Star Considered Team’s ‘Best-Kept Secret’

Coby White, Chicago Bulls

Getty Coby White #0 of the Chicago Bulls participates in warmups prior to a game

Could Chicago Bulls guard Coby White be considered the team’s “best-kept secret” and “expendable” in the same breath? It is hard to argue against considering the range of storylines that have followed White this offseason.

He had been on the trade block for the past year when NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson reported that the Bulls would re-evaluate his trade value at the deadline in February.

Others believe an extension would buy both sides some much-needed time.

Perhaps this pulling from opposite directions – as someone the team views as expendable yet others see as potentially extension-worthy – is why Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley suggests White is the Bulls’ best-kept secret.


Is Coby White a Secret?

Buckley does take into account all of the chatter around White. Several rumored trade proposals have included White, often alongside fellow-polarizing Bulls player, center Nikola Vucevic. But Johnson said the Bulls were asking for a rotation player and a draft pick back for White.

That would certainly require building his trade value back up.

“If you’re drumming up fake Chicago deals in the trade machine, you’re almost certainly including Coby White in the outgoing package. He’s a score-first player on a team whose three-best players all fall under the same umbrella. He is, to put it simply, expendable.”

The Bulls made their already-deep guard rotation even deeper with the additions of veteran Goran Dragic and rookie Dalen Terry this summer.

But neither offers quite what White does which, Buckley argues, is very useful.


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“He is a quantity-plus-quality shooter from range, is a blur in the open court, and can finish at or around the rim. He just pumped in 16.6 points per 36 minutes while posting personal-best shooting rates from the field (43.3) and from distance (38.5). “

White ranked third on the Bulls last season averaging 5.6 attempts per game from beyond the arc.


Why Coby White is ‘Expendable’

The shooting numbers from deep would seem to be something a Bulls team that remains light on three-point shooters would want to keep around. But White struggled in the postseason shooting just 27.6% on nearly identical volume.

He also saw his assist rate drop 6%, though, that did coincide with a dip in his playing time going from a starter in 2021 to a primary bench role this past season.

Those are not White’s only issues.

“Defense and decision-making (career-best 9.3 turnover percentage) aren’t strengths, but he did improve in both areas this past season.

If White’s shot is not falling, he cannot be counted upon for much else right now. And with the top of the Bulls’ roster dominated by Vucevic, DeMar DeRozan, and Zach LaVine there is far less of a need for scoring.

The Bulls need two-way players which White has not been to this point.

To his credit, he has been hitting the gym hard this summer despite his teammates getting more headlines.

If White can follow through on the goals set for him by himself and the organization, perhaps he proves worthy of that extension and changing the public narrative on him.


Bulls at a Crossroads

For every move the outside believes the Bulls could and/or should make, there is something the organization has said or done that can be used as a rebuttal. Some have wanted the Bulls to swing another massive trade to push themselves over the top.

But general manager Marc Eversley said that he did not foresee such a move coming available this offseason.

Still, some have the Bulls figured for a team that could be in store for a shakeup at the deadline.

If that is the case, there is a good chance White will be a part of the deal. That would likely mean some other team sees in White what Buckley sees – a player whose current abilities are being underappreciated.

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