NBA

Is Coby White’s future outside of Chicago?

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The former five-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American earned a second-team All-ACC selection in his only season with the UNC basketball program.

Coby White has become a star in Chapel Hill, forging his way into a unique prospect and a lottery pick by the Chicago Bulls. Three years later, White’s future in Chicago is increasingly uncertain.

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The Chicago Sun-Times explored White’s time as a bull, pointing to ineffective shooting and liability defense as the reason for his uncertain future in the Windy City.

Heading into what could be his final season in Chicago, it was the Bulls who failed Coby White, not White who failed the Bulls.

While White has often been an unstable shooter and below average defender, the Bulls have never put the former North Carolina guard in a position to succeed.

Tomas Satoransky, a fourth-year guard, started in White’s first season, commanding the field for a 22-43 team. The rookie guard earned second-team All-Rookie honors, averaging more points and rebounds in fewer minutes than Satoransky.

After White’s rookie season, head coach Jim Boylan was ousted in favor of former University of Florida and Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan. White was thrust into the starting point guard role, where he upped his game in every statistical category.

The Chicago general recorded career highs in points, rebounds, assists and field goal percentage. White’s defensive efficiency improved, ranking 109th in defensive win shares against opposing teams’ starting units.

With two seasons under his belt, a much-improved White wouldn’t stay in the Bulls’ starting lineup. Chicago would acquire former No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball from the New Orleans Pelicans, forcing the 20-year-old to the bench.

Although White improved his shooting numbers and efficiency each season, he never had the chance to flourish as the Bulls’ starting point guard.

The No. 7 overall pick did not receive a vote of confidence from Chicago’s front office as Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu was selected by the Bulls in the 2021 NBA draft. Former Laker guard Alex Caruso signed a four-year contract with Chicago in the offseason.

With a packed guard room, White was left competing for minutes with no real chance of dethroning Ball. Despite developing at 21, Dosunmu pounced on White on the backcourt depth chart.

Chicago continued its disrespect for White, signing Goran Dragić this offseason and selecting Arizona guard Dalen Terry in this year’s draft.

Heading into the 2022-23 season, Coby White finds himself on the trading block as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.

Surrounded by a below-average roster in his first two seasons, White has improved at both ends of the court. Chicago repaid the UNC basketball product by replacing him with Ball, diminishing his confidence, neglecting his development and cutting his minutes.

The Bulls are tied to Ball and Caruso through the 2024-25 season, leaving White on the outside.

A change of scenery is needed for White to reach his NBA potential, as the Chicago Bulls didn’t give him the chance to become a hard-hitting guard.

White only had one season as a starting point guard, with Chicago having no clear plan for his development. Enduring both a coaching and general manager change, while improving their shooting numbers and defensive impact wasn’t enough for a franchise that had missed four straight playoff series.

It was the Bulls who failed Coby White, not White who failed the Bulls.

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