B/R proposes yet another nonsensical Coby White trade for Bulls

Coby White, Evan Mobley, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Coby White, Evan Mobley, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

As the NBA offseason drones on, Coby White can’t just seem to keep his name out of trade rumors. Try as he might, the young guard has actually been quite solid through three seasons in the league, but hasn’t quite yet reached his perceived ceiling with the Chicago Bulls.

Averaging 13.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists primarily off the bench, Coby has proven he has the makings of a quality bench player as his absolute floor. Still, his 38.5% shooting from deep last season and ability to create his own offense has to have a few teams still believing in his long-term potential. With only one year left on his rookie scale contract, now is the best time for Coby to realize his full potential and maximize his future earnings by securing a long-term contract.

For that reason, I imagine White could still fetch a fair price on the trade market. Others have clearly taken note as well, as Coby is commonly discussed as a potential trade piece over at Bleacher Report. Here’s a look at the trade B/R believes would benefit the Chicago Bulls ahead of the 2022-23 season.

The Chicago Bulls should stick to their guns and hold onto Coby White for now.

If you look at things from a pure absolute value standpoint, it really isn’t all that terrible in a vacuum. Isaac Okoro is a fine young player who has a few improvements to make in order to become a true starter, much like Coby. However, when you put this trade into context and take into account how each player would fit with their respective teams, it falls apart quicker than a house of cards in a thunderstorm.

For starters, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley lacks a fundamental understanding of what either of these teams is looking to add. He believes this trade would benefit the Bulls in large part due to how Chicago’s defensive unit fell apart after the loss of several important rotation players.

"“Between October and December, Chicago went 23-10 and had the Association’s 10th-best defense. From that point forward, though, the Bulls were just 23-26 and plummeted to 27th in defensive efficiency… The Bulls could get plenty disruptive on defense in lineups featuring him, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso and Patrick Williams.”"

It is a bit frustrating that the writer here acknowledges that the Bulls boasted one of the NBA’s top ten defenses when Ball, Caruso, and Williams were available, and then immediately follows up on that point by stating how Chicago needs to improve their defense.

Perhaps even worse, he seems to believe that a lineup featuring Lonzo, Caruso, Williams, and Okoro is even feasible. None of those four players can score, and pigeonholing either Zach LaVine or DeMar DeRozan into that fifth spot will only reinforce the bad habits that have held the two back as shoot-first isolation scorers throughout their careers.

Moving forward, the Bulls need at least two offensive creators on the court at all times. We’ve seen just how effective DeRozan and LaVine (when healthy) were together last season, as their shooting efficiency shot up to career bests. When one of the two can’t be on the court, however, Coby is the bench’s next most lethal scoring threat.

If Chicago were to trade Coby away now, they’d once again be putting pressure on Nikola Vucevic’s shoulders to carry a heavy load, which as we know now is a very risky proposition. The Bulls are much better off hedging their bets and retaining as much offensive firepower as possible while counting on Ball, Caruso, and Williams to carry the defense.

"“Conversely, Cleveland might prefer White’s scoring punch over Okoro’s stopping skills, particularly if the Cavs don’t plan on re-signing Collin Sexton.”"

Why does this writer seem to believe Cleveland doesn’t intend to re-sign Collin Sexton? Even if they did let Sexton walk in free agency, why would the Cavaliers need more offensive firepower? Between Sexton, Darius Garland, Caris LeVert, Kevin Love, and Lauri Markkanen, Cleveland has arguably even more score-first talent than Chicago.

Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley make for a dynamic duo defensively, but forcing those two to shoulder the burden of carrying the defense while the team lacks a defensive presence roaming the perimeter just feels unfair. There are only so many times Cleveland can get dissected by a Kevin Durant iso or Giannis Antetokounmpo running full speed through the defense before the Cavaliers ultimately end up right back where they started searching for an Okoro type.

Three point-shooting is still near the top of Chicago’s needs right now. A two-way forward is at the top of Cleveland’s wish list. This exchange would ultimately do more harm than good, and the last thing the Chicago Bulls need to be doing right now is coughing up even more draft capital to make that happen.

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