With new faces filling the Chicago Bulls guard rotation, much has been made of Coby White’s place in the pecking order, and uncertain future with the team.
Because not only is the guard room getting crowded, but the former seventh overall pick is currently recovering from a shoulder injury suffered back in July.
White’s footing on the starting point guard position started slipping late last season when head coach Billy Donovan went with veteran Tomas Satoransky for 18 games.
The 21-year old guard finished the year averaging 15.1 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.1 rebounds across 69 games played.
And yet despite all that’s occurred from last season to the present day, it seems Coby White is a safe bet to stay in the Windy City with the Chicago Bulls.
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Donovan: ‘There Will Be a Role for Him’
Chicago Bulls head coach Billy Donovan seems to be a large supporter of Coby White’s, and the 21-year old needs as many of those as he can get within the organization.
Going into his second year leading the charge in the Windy City, he sounded optimistic about the third-year guard when speaking (via The Athletic) with reporters:
“He’s got enough belief and confidence in himself, and I think he’s heard enough from me about how I feel about him that I think he knows and is pretty confident that there will be a role for him that will be important to helping us.”
Donovan also made sure to credit how White’s since handled the injury, the latest of obstacles in his NBA career:
I give him a lot of credit because I think his mentality and disposition was, like, ‘Listen, we’ll figure that piece of it out.’ And ‘Whatever I can do to help the team.’ And I told him, I said, ‘Listen, there’s going to be a lot of value.’
Even if he doesn’t prove a natural point guard, as his head coach notes, his ability to score at will should still be considered a luxury in the NBA.
And on this roster, that makes White a near-perfect fit:
“There’s not a lot of guys in this league that shoot the ball the way he does. And when you’ve got really good offensive players, one-on-one players like those three guys we’ve been talking about (Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vučević), having a guy like that who can knock down a shot is really important.”
When guard Coby White makes his return to the Chicago Bulls, it’s unclear what role they’ll have waiting for him.
But with head coach Billy Donovan in his corner, there’s reason to still be optimistic about his NBA career.
Yet, it’s worth mentioning that he’s not the only youth currently sidelined in the Windy City.
Donovan: ‘We Feel Pretty Good’ About Williams
The other of the Chicago Bulls’ two lottery picks on roster, Patrick Williams, is dealing with an injury of his own.
He suffered a severe left ankle sprain at the end of September, with an estimated recovery time of four to six weeks.
But as of Thursday, head coach Billy Donovan (via The Athletic) hasn’t yet ruled out Williams returning at some point during the preseason stretch:
He’s been able to come in here and shoot. We haven’t done anything laterally, cutting-wise with him. He’s been coming in at night, getting some shots up, doing as much conditioning as he can be doing. But he’s done well. We feel pretty good about the way he’s progressing.
So, perhaps fans will get a look at second-year forward Patrick Williams before the season’s start.
But don’t expect Coby White to walk through that door for the Chicago Bulls.