Coby White has been having quite a 2022-23 season for the Chicago Bulls. Despite accepting a bench role for the entire season, White’s game has elevated to levels that Bulls fans couldn’t have imagined, and now him and the Bulls are one game away from making it to the NBA Playoffs after beating the Toronto Raptors on the road 109-105 in their first NBA Play-in Tournament game.
White finished last night’s game with nine points and five assists, providing a lot of energy on both sides of the ball when he came off the bench. He went 4-4 from the field, and made his only three-point attempt of the night. This game was full of storylines for the Bulls, including Zach Lavine’s insane 39-point performance, Demar DeRozan scoring 23 points and pulling down seven rebounds, and finally, DeRozan’s daughter Diar making the Raptors shoot 50% from the free throw line with her screaming. Yes, that’s a real thing that happened.
I digress, watching White’s game mature has been fascinating, mostly because of how he got to the point that he is at. He started off his NBA career under Jim Boylen, who was objectively one of the worst head coaches the NBA has ever seen. After current HC Billy Donovan took over, White dealt with some injury issues up until this season, and once he got healthy, things really started to take off. He has been a lot smarter with his shot selection, a lot more efficient from three-point range, and his passing has taking a huge step forward. That is all without mentioning the fact that he has become a much better defender, and has helped make the Bulls one of the best defensive teams in the league.
Now the Bulls have a tough situation this summer, because White is supposed to enter restricted free agency. Considering the fact that they made a huge mess with their point guard situation, one could argue that they owe White both a fair contract and the starting point guard job next season. It is highly unlikely that we see Lonzo Ball suit up in a Bulls uniform again, Ayo Dosunmo was a pretty big disappointment when he was a starter, and Patrick Beverley was only signed to a one-year contract. White had to witness numerous players take the starting job over him, and at every turn they either were a massive disappointment, or they were, well, Lonzo Ball. Coby White deserves a chance to be a starter in the NBA, and if the Bulls don’t make it happen, I have a feeling there’s a number of teams in the league that would be more than happy to do so.
The Bulls have to win one more game this Friday against the Miami Heat to advance to the NBA Playoffs. Hopefully we will get to see a lot more of Coby White before their season is over.