2. Coby White
If you’ve managed to tune into more than a few Chicago Bulls games this year, you’ve no doubt heard Stacey King sing Coby White‘s praises at every given opportunity. For that reason, I’ll leave the complimentary word salad for Coby to the man who does it best on the mic.
I’ll cut straight to the chase here — Coby White is a better basketball player right now than he’s even been before.
All too often, the Bulls have failed to develop their young talent just to watch them go thrive on a different team. We’re actually witnessing just that right now with Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., and Daniel Gafford. Fortunately, I believe Coby can be the exception to the rule here.
Coby White has improved too much this season for the Chicago Bulls to let him leave now.
As the leading scorer in North Carolina high school basketball history, White has always been trusted to be the primary offensive option for every team he’s ever played for before reaching the NBA. I don’t exactly blame him for taking some time to adapt to being a high-level role player instead of the guy for the Bulls.
Although his box score stats have considerably dipped this year, Coby’s actually improved at the margins and become a much more well-rounded player. His shot hasn’t even been as consistent as it was last season, but his improvements to his ball-handling, defense, and cutting down on turnovers and fouls have actually made him impact winning more than ever.
The advanced statistics favor these claims as well. White’s box plus/minus, win shares per 48 minutes, and value over replacement player stats are all at career-high levels. It’s also worth noting that these numbers have consistently improved with each season he’s spent in the league, indicating there’s still plenty of room for Coby to continue developing.
White’s lack of statistical success this season may actually even benefit Chicago when it comes to negotiating White’s new contract. If the Bulls can secure Coby on a team-friendly deal moving forward, I’d view that as a massive win for the front office.