Coby White has all the tools , but is he the answer for the Bulls?
With the 7th pick in the 2019 NBA draft, the Chicago Bulls selected Coby White, an electrifying Point Guard out of one of the country’s most respected basketball programs: UNC. This pick most likely means that the Bulls will be looking to White to replace former top 5 pick, Kris Dunn AS starting point guard. The Bulls have acquired their fair share of young talent over the past few years, adding to their ranks rising star Zach Lavine and big men Lauri Markennen and Wendell Carter Jr. However, they have not yet found the right point guard to really mesh the offense and become their leader, as Kris Dunn has not lived up to his potential. Obviously, the Bulls are hoping they have their guy in Coby White, but that leaves the question: Coby White has all the tools, but is he the answer for the Bulls?
As we dive into who Coby White is as a player, it is impossible not to notice his work ethic. Under Head Coach Roy Williams, White raised his stock from being a projected low second-round pick, to a top tier lottery pick. Coming out of High School, there were questions about White, especially regarding consistency in his jump shot and his defensive instincts. Over the summer, White focused his efforts, and his shot during the 2019 season improved immensely. His defensive instincts further honed, he is a threat for steals, although at times he makes bad gambles going after the ball. paired with his ability to beat his man off the dribble and run the pick & roll at a high level, White is a force on the court, playing with the fastest pace of anybody in the draft. The pressure he puts on the defense based off his pure speed is second to none, and he will get the Bulls countless easy buckets in transition early.
How does this apply to the Bulls? White’s ability to not only create for himself but also create for others will take pressure off of Zach Lavine, who had to carry the load on offense. Lavine had a very high usage rate, and his efficiency numbers imply that he was forced to do too much on offense. Dunn was supposed to be able to run the offense with Lavine, but was unable to do so at a consistent level, and by comparison, White’s offensive game is already much more polished. Defensively, White might not offer the same consistency Dunn offered on a night-to-night basis, but his defensive ceiling is still higher due to his knack for getting steals and lateral quickness. It is difficult to see areas on the court that White won’t be better than Dunn, even as a rookie.
Based off his physical attributes and skill alone,, White has all the tools to be a great player in the league. With that said, the talented point guard has his weaknesses. His shot selection is at times questionable, and that won’t fit well with Lavine, who faces similar struggles. White also turns the ball over more than you’d like for a guard, which is likely a result of how many possessions were generated at UNC with their fast paced offense. Considering how well he gets to the rim, and his 6’5 frame, he isn’t the best finishing over big men. White must improve these facets if he truly wants to be the transcendent point guard for the Bulls.
Perhaps what makes White most fascinating is his ability to take over games. In any given minute he can rack up nine points, whether it’s hitting step-back 3’s or getting 3 points the old fashioned way. With the way we’ve seen White improve since his years in High School, combined with his natural talent and athletic ability, it is fair to expect White to continue to make leaps as a player. It’s going to be interesting watching how he fits in with this young Bulls team and how he orchestrates the offense his way. Again, White has all the tools. If he can continue to work on his game, he could very well be the answer for the Bulls.