Saturday, May 28, 2022

Trading Coby White Would Be A Mistake


The final game of 2021 provided the Bulls with one of the best highlights of their season to date. A one-footed dagger from 28 feet off the hands of DeMar DeRozan as time expired. His three-pointer beat the buzzer and the Pacers. It was an MVP caliber play from an MVP caliber player. However, DeRozan would not have gotten that opportunity if not for the efforts of Coby White. Just ask DeRozan.

“You take away Coby from this game we don’t win,” DeRozan remarked in his postgame press conference.

Indeed the Bulls would not have won that game without White. He scored 24 points and went 6-7 from behind the three-point arc. It was just another example of what Coby White can do for an offense.

In his last seven games including a 16 point 4-for-8 effort against the Brooklyn Nets, White is averaging 17.7 points a game and is shooting 64.7% from three.

Billy Donovan called him a “winning player”. That sounds like someone you want to have at playoff time. In a league where you can never have enough shooters, Coby White is the perfect spark plug off of the bench. He can heat up at a moment’s notice.

At the age of 19, he became the youngest player in NBA history to make at least seven threes in a game. All of them came in the fourth quarter of a November 12th game against the Knicks, which set a rookie record for most three-pointers in a single quarter.

However, a popular sentiment amongst fans is to use Coby White as a trade chip to land another big man such as Jerami Grant. Michael Scotto even reported that the Bulls are open to trading Coby White but are not interested in trading Patrick Williams.

With Williams off the table, White remains the only trade chip of value to land some much-needed frontcourt help. With the emergence of Ayo Dosumu, the notion of trading White is even more enticing.

However, the Bulls would be wise to hold onto their former 7th overall pick from 2019. Dosumu is viewed as insurance for White. He is playing excellent basketball and is just a rookie.

However, at the age of 22, White is actually younger than Dosumu. With only two full season’s already under his belt, we have yet to see Coby White’s ceiling. He is only going to get better. White is eager to learn and has a reputation for being very coachable. As it is he is already pretty darn good.

You can never have enough shooting in the NBA. Just ask the Golden State Warriors who build a dynasty off of it. Championship teams also need good pieces off the bench. White checks off both of the boxes.

During the 2019-2020 season White was second among rookies with 133 three-pointers. He was also the only rookie to make 7 threes in a game multiple times and had the highest number of games with 5+ 3FGM. In February of 2020, he was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month.

White is more than just a three-point shooter. He can slash his way to the rim and knock down the occasional mid-range shot. He is a pure scorer.

White is currently fifth on the team in scoring, averaging 11.5 points per game. While this is lower than his career average, some context is necessary. The 6’5 guard from North Carolina has dealt with a lot of adversity this year.

White entered the offseason thinking he would be the new starting point guard. The Bulls went out and acquired Lonzo Ball and he lost his job before he could even take the court. Then he endured offseason shoulder surgery. After rehabbing he tried to establish a rhythm with his new teammates but his progress was stalled when landed in the league’s health and safety protocols.

Now that White has finally had a chance to find his groove he is thriving. After White poured in 21 points after a perfect 4-for-4 shooting night from three-point range head coach Billy Donovan gave him one of the highest compliments you can give a player.

“I think he is a winning player,” Donovan said. He then went on to say “he’s made the game easier for others.”

Billy Donovan has even been putting White and Dosumu on the floor together and has found success. It shows you can have your cake and eat it too with White and Dosumu. Both are good players who can continue to grow and thrive while on the same team.

White has accepted his scoring role off the bench. It’s a role that will be crucial come playoff time assuming he is not shipped out of town. Donovan knows it too.

“I’m hoping he’s gaining some confidence in terms of his value of what he can do for our team,” Donovan explained. “It’s an important role for us.”

If you watch Coby White play you can see his confidence growing on a nightly basis. Sure his hot stretch is increasing his trade value. But it also shows that the 22-year-old has plenty to offer for the Bulls this season and years to come. If the Bulls part ways with him they will regret it. If you take Coby White away there may be more games down the road that they don’t win.

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