After the first month of the 2022-23′ season, many would have called for the Bulls to let the fourth-year 23-year-old point guard walk this summer. Averaging only eight points a game on less than 30% from three-point land, coupled with his pre-existing weak defense, younger and more versatile options were on the rise. It’s not often that nearly every statistic drops for a player, yet much of the franchise’s following can agree he’s made significant strides on both ends. He perfectly embodies why box-score watching or statistically driven opinions can sometimes be misleading. After a recent surge of playmaking, scoring, and defending, he’s almost made up Chicago’s mind for them regarding a contract extension.
Sixth Man Of The Year
Coby White has had an interesting career arc to say the least. After starting just one game in his rookie campaign, he started 54 games in his sophomore year. In his third and fourth years, he’s only made 18 starts and is down to a career-low 23.1 minutes and 9.3 points per game this year.
In a year of trials and tribulations for the Chicago Bulls, Coby White’s development has been somewhat of a rare bright spot. His fellow running mate Ayo Dosunmu has certainly not shown as much growth, and with both becoming free agents this summer, White may be separating himself as the priority signing. In his last 17 games, he’s scored 13 or more seven times, of which the Bulls have won five of those contests. He’s also made three or more three-point attempts in eight games over that stretch, and for a team dead-last in three-point attempts per game, he’s become an irreplaceable commodity from deep. He’s undoubtedly been the best bench piece for the Bulls this season.
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The most likely scenario is that the Bulls extend the 9.9 million dollar offer before the June 30 deadline, meaning he’d be able to negotiate with other clubs and force Chicago to decide whether or not to match competing offers. While there hasn’t been any tampering noise surrounding White’s decisions this summer, there were plenty of murmurs around the former Tar Heel around the trade deadline a few months ago. A young sharpshooter who’s shown significant improvement in his playmaking, ball-handling, and defense this season is in high demand in today’s three-point-centric NBA. Several other contenders will likely bid for his future years to add depth and shooting to their second units.
The Bulls’ top needs this off-season will be finding a solution at point guard, outside shooting, and inside defending. Extending White would help with the outside shooting issue, supply a consistent playmaker off the bench, and provide scoring in bunches. He’s the top option outside Chicago’s big three and their second-best three-point shooter from a volume perspective. His fastbreak game and defense have reached new heights in his contract season.
Chicago has six games left this season and is currently wedged in the 10th slot in the Eastern Conference. Sitting two games ahead of Washington and two games behind Toronto, they would need a drastic streak of wins or losses to move their positioning before the season ends. They will more than likely meet Toronto or Atlanta on the road in a win-or-go-home scenario after the regular season concludes.
Regardless of how the season ends, do you want to see Coby White back in a Bulls jersey next year?