Chicago Bulls: Can Coby White be the next Trae Young?

One of the most scorching hot scoring stretches by a Chicago Bulls rookie in recent memory is happening right now for point guard Coby White.

The torrent pace that the former North Carolina Tar Heels point guard and the first round 2019 NBA Draft pick of the Chicago Bulls Coby White in the last three games is historic in numerous regards. Over the weekend, White already set a few NBA and Bulls franchise records with his two 33 point outings against the Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards.

But White followed those two huge outings with yet another career-high in the scoring department in what amounted to a tough 124-122 loss at home at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder at the United Center on Feb. 25. White and rising star Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine absolutely put on a show on Tuesday night, combining for nearly 80 points in the two-point loss.

The advanced numbers from this scorching span of games for White really puts on display how good he’s been. He never had an offensive rating lower than 116 in these three games. And it went as high as 159 against the Wizards. His true shooting percentage also combined for better than 75.0 percent in this span.

Three of the six highest game scores for White in particular (per Basketball Reference) came in the last three outings. A higher usage rate is finally starting to pan out for White during his rookie campaign.

With how well White played in the last three games, he managed to elevate his three-point shooting percentage from around 33 to better than 35.5 in a span of less than a week. He also got his field goal percentage up to around 39, which is two points better than where it was last week.

All around, White is averaging 12.3 points per game, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists, to go along with a player efficiency rating of 11.4 and 0.7 win shares. His number of win shares more than doubled in the last three games too.

This level of success that White had for himself recently can bring about the question of which path he will take in his development moving forward. He surely had a challenging rookie year in terms of overall efficiency prior to this scorching stretch he’s on in the last three games.

If White can conform his game and his path of development to the mould of star Atlanta Hawks second-year point guard Trae Young, then he will definitely be the answer that this Bulls franchise is looking for exiting the third year of the rebuild.

A lot of NBA fans will remember how much Young struggled through much of his rookie season. But he was able to turn it all around for good (at least up to this point) down the stretch last year. He even made a push to challenge Dallas Mavericks star guard Luka Doncic for Rookie of the Year honors at one point.

Young earned himself his first career All-Star selection this year thanks to his standout efforts since the 2019 All-Star Break. He’s averaging 29.9 points per game, 4.4 rebounds, and 9.2 assists, while shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 37.0 percent from beyond the arc.

The commonalities are abundant between the styles of play and the numbers Young and White posted during their rookie seasons. Young takes a very high volume of three-point attempts, as does White. So far this season, White actually leads all NBA rookies in three-point attempts. Young is getting his shooting percentages higher and higher as time moves along, but they’re still not the best overall. White can definitely relate to that.

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White needs to take these results and parlay them into more efficient outings for the remainder of his rookie season. It’s hard to believe that he will be able to put up 30+ points per night for the rest of the season, but he can certainly keep up his efficient offensive play.

Young showed in the second half of his rookie season and through the 2019-20 campaign so far that being a young volume scoring point guard in the NBA doesn’t have to mean inefficient numbers across the board. White can learn from that.