Bulls have crucial decision to make regarding Coby White’s future

Coby White, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Coby White, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

The pursuit of Zach LaVine and efforts to sway him to re-sign on a 5-year deal has without a doubt been the top priority for the Chicago Bulls summer. But that doesn’t mean he’s the only question mark for the Bulls this offseason, as Coby White‘s future with the team hangs in the balance entering a crucial contract year.

Averaging 13.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game in three seasons with the Chicago Bulls, Coby clearly has the makings of a solid NBA player. But whether or not he’ll ever become a starter in this league remains to be seen. This reality is now putting pressure on the Bulls’ front office to make the right move with Coby before it’s too late.

This issue is particularly compounded by White’s impending free agency. But when you also factor in the fact there’s no clear route to starting behind LaVine and Lonzo Ball, as well as the additions of Alex Caruso and Ayo Dosunmu overperforming expectations, Coby’s future with the Bulls begins looking far shakier.

If the Chicago Bulls wish to shake things up this summer, floating Coby White on the trade market may be their best option to improve.

At the bare minimum, we know for a fact the thought of trading Coby has at least floated across the minds of Chicago’s front office. White was heavily rumored to be attached to the 18th pick in trade rumors during the 2022 NBA Draft, as the Bulls ideally were looking to move up — possibly to grab one of the two highly-regarded centers in this year’s draft, Jalen Duren and Mark Williams, who were selected 13th and 15th respectively.

The Bulls have also been linked to a variety of players around the league, like Philadelphia’s Matisse Thybulle. If Chicago were to swing a deal for Thybulle, the most obvious choice for a return package would be for White in a direct swap.

Even if that trade never comes to fruition, I believe it clearly indicates Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley are willing to get creative if they feel they’ve found a solid deal for Coby.

But that doesn’t mean the Bulls are in a situation where they have to trade Coby, not in the slightest. He’s on a cheap cost-controlled contract for next season. He’ll be a restricted free agent when his deal expires. He hasn’t even been particularly bad. By all means, many teams would love to add Coby’s scoring impact to their bench, even if he hasn’t become a clear-cut starter as Bulls fans had hoped.

It might be best to take a page out of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ book here with how they have handled Collin Sexton. Instead of acting impulsively and trading an injured Sexton at the deadline for scraps, they allowed him to hit restricted free agency and let the market decide his value.

From there, the Cavaliers can make a much more analytical approach towards deciding if Sexton is worth matching whatever he’s offered instead of gambling on his value in a trade. Coby was still the third-best shooter on a Bulls team that significantly struggled to shoot the 3-ball, so giving him up without acquiring something good in return makes very little sense for Chicago.

But at the end of the day, the Bulls still have several other holes in the roster to fill. Hopefully, AKME can find a solid deal for Coby to plug one of those holes, but I don’t hate the idea of just running it back with Coby if there are no deals worth jumping at.

Next. 3 former Bulls worth bringing back in free agency. dark