Coby White Sends Strong Message on Bulls’ Starting PG Battle

Coby White, Chicago Bulls

Getty Coby White #0 of the Chicago Bulls.

This preseason has been a bit of a role reversal for fifth-year Chicago Bulls guard Coby White.

Last training camp and preseason, he was an afterthought in the battle to be the Bulls’ starting point guard with Ayo Dosunmu, Alex Caruso, and even Goran Dragic all considered options over him. This preseason, White is not only back in contention to start, but he is arguably the front-runner in what has been a sore spot for Chicago since Lonzo Ball got hurt two years ago.

“If I do end up being that starting point guard, I’m not going to take it for granted like I always say,” White said, per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic on October 17. “I’m going to try to take advantage of every opportunity I get.”

White – who is also beating out free agency pick-up Jevon Carter – can attribute the 180-degree change in fortune to the work he put in last offseason.

He also made his desire to start crystal clear.

“Obviously that’s my goal,” White said via the team during his exit interview on April 15 when asked if a chance to start was part of his plans in restricted free agency. “I think it definitely could be a conversation and figure things out from there. But, obviously, that’s still my goal, and that hasn’t changed.”

White is still bullish both in his progress and in the faith he believes his teammates and coaches have in him.

“It’s going to be growing pains. I’m not perfect,” White said, per Mayberry. “I haven’t played on the ball in, like, three years. I’m not trying to make any excuses or anything like that. But I feel like the whole team and the coaching staff believe in me.

Bulls’ Billy Donovan Talked Up Coby White Last Season

Donovan saw the uptick from White last season despite career-low averages in points, rebounds, and minutes per game. The former No. 7 overall pick (2019) did shoot a career-best 44.3% from the floor and still connected on 37.2% of his triples while committing a career-low 1.0 turnovers per contest.

“I think he’s really evolving into a two-way player,” Donovan said via Mayberry on March 24.

Others on the outside have taken notice of White’s development from last season and even into this season too.

“Coby looks like he may be the right fit to start,” wrote Sam Smith of on October 14. “White has played with assurance and while not a gifted facilitator, Zach [LaVine] and DeMar [DeRozan] are going to create for themselves. Coby can add some needed offense.”

Billy Donovan Updates Coby White’s Health After Injury Scare

White had to leave the Bulls’ 106-102 loss to the Toronto Raptors on October 17. Donovan provided a bit of an update on the guard’s status.

“Billy Donovan said Coby White knocked knees and went to locker room to get knee pad,” NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson reported on X on October 17. “White also knocked knees with Aaron Gordon in one of the Nuggets’ games.”

White’s availability for the preseason finale against the Minnesota Timberwolves is unclear.