The Chicago Bulls are on an eight-game win streak. They have the best record in the Eastern Conference at 25-10 and Coby White finally seems to have found his shooting stroke. White is averaging 16 points and shooting 43% from three-point range during the win streak.
Still, some NBA analysts believe the Bulls would be better off without White on the roster.
Coby White Called the Player the Bulls Must Trade
Dan Favale of Bleacher Report believes the Bulls need to move White for a variety of reasons.
“Coby White missed the start of the season while rehabbing his left shoulder and has a couple of steamy performances under his belt over the past few games,” Favale wrote. “But that’s not enough to declare him part of the Chicago Bulls’ bigger picture.”
Favale is obviously not impressed with White’s recent run of sharpshooting, but there is no mention to his vastly improved defense. Watching White every night, it’s plain to see he is working harder in man-to-man defensive situations, getting over screens smoother and making these kinds of “winning plays” on the defensive side of the floor.
“Their backcourt rotation is more crowded than ever (at full bore) with Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso and Zach LaVine,” Favale continued. “Granted, the idea of White isn’t exactly redundant. Lonzo and Caruso are not off-the-bounce magicians, and the Bulls could use another perimeter attacker and spacer. Except, well, White doesn’t fit that bill. He is shooting a career-low percentage from three and remains a shaky, infrequent finisher around the hoop. DeMar DeRozan’s primary creation partnered with all LaVine does off- and on-ball renders White expendable when he’s not tall enough to play up. Ayo Dosunmu’s defensive emergence only complicates the secondary rotation—and not in White’s favor.”
Judging White’s three-point accuracy based on his shooting prior to December wasn’t really fair considering he was still getting into game shape after recovering from shoulder surgery. What we’ve seen from White over the past 8 games is more indicative of what the Bulls and fans expect of him. It’s a smaller, but more relevant sample size, and his current run of shooting is better than he’s ever shot from three in his career.
While he’s not a finisher on LaVine’s level, White is already making a career-high 57.7% of his shots inside three feet of the basket and I’d expect that percentage to rise now that he’s healthy and COVID-19 free. This recent spin drive and finish and the hoop-and-the-harm play (both from the Chicago Bulls Twitter account) are just a sample of what he’s been doing on the floor in recent games.
Still, Favale maintains: “Moving a top-seven prospect on his rookie-scale contract always stings unless it secures a star, and White isn’t good enough to be a blockbuster magnet. But a diminishing role and impending extension eligibility should coax Chicago into plumbing his market value in favor of veteran acquisitions or picks that can help them bolster future trades.”
Can White Continue to Play Well as a Reserve?
Before White hit his stride, Favale’s points seemed a bit more valid. However, White’s professional attitude and his much-improved play has to give the Bulls some pause if they’re considering moving the 21-year-old.
At the very least, it makes sense to wait until the team gets completely healthy with everyone available before making a decision on White. The key is whether he can maintain his effectiveness as a reserve.
The Bulls need an aggressive scorer off the bench and White has the skill set to be the guy.
Follow the Heavy on Bulls Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest Bulls-related breaking news, rumors, content and more!