The Bulls have won 4 straight games and hold a record of 21-10. They have maintained their position in the Eastern Conference regardless of how many players have been out. Certain players have stepped up while others have fallen flat. One player, in particular, is rookie guard Ayo Dosunmu. With the injury to guard Alex Caruso and the loss of other guards due to health & safety protocol’s he’s been asked to take a much bigger role than expected. In his last 7 games, he’s averaged 24.3 minutes per game and has contributed on both ends of the floor. His success hasn’t gone unnoticed across social media. It’s posed an interesting question for Bulls Nation to consider. The discussion surrounds whether the Bulls should continue to move forward with guard Coby White or move on after seeing Dosunmu’s performance this season.
Monday night turned into a significant showcase for the futures of Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu in Chicago.
Soon, the Bulls seemingly will have to make a decision, @DarnellMayberry writes.
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) December 28, 2021
The game last night seemed to completely turn the tides within Bulls Nation. White started the game against the Atlanta Hawks and got absolutely worked by guard Trae Young. Things were especially rough in the first quarter and it made a lot of Bulls fans miss Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso’s defense.
Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso deserve a raise after that 1st quarter.
— Elias Schuster (@Schuster_Elias) December 28, 2021
While Coby struggled on the defensive end of the floor things seemed to turn when Dosunmu entered the game. Young had 10 points in the first quarter and looked like he was going to have his way all night. He still scored 29 points but he certainly had to fight harder for those points after the change. Regardless of their play last night we can’t base this whole discussion on just one game. We have to look at the season as a whole and go from there.
We know what to expect from Ayo
When breaking this down there’s one main point that needs to be factored in, expectations. There are a lot of expectations surrounding White. He’s been put into roles he wasn’t necessarily ready for and has been expected to perform. His inconsistencies have shown in those roles. That’s what drives this whole discussion. White has been inconsistent based on the expectations. Ayo has given us a better idea of how he’s going to perform and has consistently shown it this season.
following up on this Ayo/Coby point. A better way to probably put it right is now Ayo has a more consistent baseline of what we can expect. We generally know what Ayo is giving on most nights, and it’s pretty solid. Coby is just so all over the place with his performance.
— Jason Patt (@Bulls_Jay) December 28, 2021
There’s no denying that White is inconsistent. He can score 20+ points one day and then put up 2 the next. It’s hard to know which Coby White is going to show up. That’s the biggest problem when it comes to White. He’s given the Bulls three years of inconsistent basketball. Dosunmu is a rookie who’s played in 27 games and been pretty consistent from the beginning. However, is it just a shiny new toy that has everyone’s attention, or is he better than Coby?
Head to head comparison
Just looking at the straight-up stats isn’t a fair comparison but let’s look at how they have each faired this season. Dosunmu has averaged 6.1 PPG, 51.9 %FG, 2.0 RPG, & 1.1 APG. Whit has averaged 8.1 PPG, 36.8 %FG, 2.7 RPG, & 1.3 APG. Head to head stat comparison there isn’t a huge difference except with field goal percentage. The biggest difference this year appears to be on the defensive end of the floor. While they are the same height Ayo has a major advantage with wingspan and his physicality seems to translate better than Coby’s.
Ayo has a 6'10 wingspan. Coby has a 6'5 wingspan. Coby just doesn't have the physical tools to be as good as Ayo defensively. But Coby does have the ability to score. I like both players a lot, and there should be room for both of them on this roster. https://t.co/t9mtPtcA9Q
— See Red Fred (@cbefred) December 28, 2021
His defense has been much better than Coby’s. Not like that was a major component of Coby’s game before. The upside for Coby is his ability to go off and shoot at a high level. This season he has shown it a couple of times but then goes cold and inconsistent. Ayo isn’t expected to put up 20 points or be a big offensive piece because he hasn’t shown that. Maybe that’s just the luck of the draw with being on a much better team than Coby was the last two years. Either way, if the Bulls are looking at this as a one or the other decision we have to wonder what the Bulls can get for Coby.
What’s the market value for Coby White?
Coby’s value certainly isn’t as high as it was at the end of last season but there’s still value. White is only 21 years old and has two and a half seasons of experience under his belt. If a team is trying to get young assets White is one of those pieces. Looking at the market out there the Bulls could be looking for a new power forward for the team. One player comes into mind and that’s Detroit forward Jerami Grant. Grant is averaging 20.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, & 2.6 APG. He would be a major piece to an already great Bulls team. Package a deal with White and another young piece, maybe Patrick Williams, and the Bulls may have a deal. The Pistons don’t have much to play for and if they want to get assets for players this would be a move to do just that.
That’s just one specific name that would be a good pick-up for the Bulls. There are certainly other players out there they could target especially if looking for a new power forward. White currently has value that could be packaged into a deal. If it comes down to it and the Bulls want to add one more player to put them over the top then it wouldn’t be surprising to see Coby thrown into a package. However, at the end of the day, it doesn’t necessarily need to come down to that.
Both can thrive in Chicago
It doesn’t have to come down to a decision where the Bulls pick one or the other. If Coby can play at a consistent level that doesn’t mean Ayo will be kept off the court. The Bulls could use Coby’s skill which would keep them from looking elsewhere for more.
I’ve been pretty harsh on Coby, but I really do hope he can figure it out. This Bulls roster could really use his theoretical skill set. But given how good they are, he needs to bring that baseline level of player up in order to play a lot when it really matters.
— Jason Patt (@Bulls_Jay) December 28, 2021
The best-case scenario for the Bulls is Coby playing consistently alongside Dosunmu. Having two good young guards who can contribute off the bench is ideal. It’s just a matter of if that will happen at this point. I would like to see them both thrive. However, if it comes down to it the Bulls will need to strike while the irons hot. If Coby hasn’t shown improvement and there’s a market for him then it might be time to make a move. There’s still a lot of time before the trade deadline for Coby to show what he can be. That also means there’s a lot of time for Ayo to show what he can be and potentially play Coby out of Chicago.
Only time will tell with this one but the conversation has already begun. Keep your eyes peeled as the season progresses and we look at these two under a microscope.