Despite the Chicago Bulls retooling at the trade deadline and committing to win-now veterans, it seems Coby White’s future with the team is safe going forward.
There were concerns that his time in the Windy City may end prematurely, after he was removed from the starting lineup in favor of 29-year old Tomas Satoransky.
But those concerns were largely quieted when the trade deadline came and passed with White still on the team.
For now, it appears that the Bulls are committed to their 2019 first-round pick.
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Point Guard Problems
For those not familiar with the happenings of the trade deadline, the Chicago Bulls were all-in on Lonzo Ball.
It was reported that at one point in conversations with the New Orleans Pelicans, the Chicago Bulls discussed a swap involving Lauri Markkanen.
That proposal was denied, among others, and the 23-year old point guard remains in The Big Easy.
But the very idea that the Bulls were looking to bring in a more-established floor general all but confirms that they look at Coby White’s ceiling as more of a sixth man, and not leader of an offense.
When speaking with reporters (via NBC Sports) after Chicago’s win over the Indiana Pacers, head coach Billy Donovan was straightforward about White and Markkanen’s roles moving forward:
They’re probably not going to be featured guys, just calling it like it is. But they’re very important pieces to our team, and we need them to play at a high level.
To say someone isn’t featured, well that certainly sparks curiosity into their future with the franchise.
The Bulls could likely earn a nice return on any trade involving White, given that he’s under his rookie contract through the 2023-2024 season, pending options. But it’s unlikely they trade him just yet.
All Quiet on the Trade Front
In his latest mailbag column for NBC Sports, K.C. Johnson answered a question about Coby White’s future with some insight on the team’s approach with the point guard at the trade deadline:
Management traded away several young pieces at the trade deadline and White’s name never surfaced in any conversations I heard. So it seems solid.
That’s about as promising a reveal as Chicago Bulls fans can hope for.
At least, those in favor of keeping White around for the foreseeable future.
Johnson cited his rookie deal and offensive outbursts as reasons why Chicago should keep the 21-year old:
He’s on a rookie deal, consistently draws praise for his work ethic and team-first mentality and has shown the ability to put up big offensive nights. What’s not to like?
So the real question may be less about IF he fits in Chicago, and more so HOW he fits moving forward.
Coby White’s averaging 10.1 points and 3.3 assists on 39 percent shooting from the field an 29 percent shooting from three since his relegation to the second unit.
Chicago’s gone 4-6 in that span.
For the time being, there are more pressing matters at hand.