In a year where the Chicago Bulls gave fans quite a lot of reasons to be pessimistic, one of the brightest silver linings for the team this season was undoubtedly the rapid development of Coby White. In a contract year with everything to prove, White displayed arguably more improvement this season alone than he did in his prior three years combined with the Bulls.
With the Bulls playing their best ball of the season out of the All-Star Break, so did Coby as an individual. In just 25.9 minutes per game off the bench, White averaged 11.6 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.3 rebounds across Chicago’s final 23 games.
As Chicago continued to play winning basketball and make a legitimate push toward the playoffs under the wing of DeMar DeRozan, it became increasingly clear that Coby wanted to be a part of this run and help the Bulls win as many games as possible. His playmaking and defensive capabilities looked better than we’ve ever seen before, and he shot an extremely efficient 49% from the field and 41.3% from beyond the arc — as well as 100%, 17-17 from the free throw line.
This end-of-season stretch gave us a glimpse of what type of player Coby can be moving forward and understandably will have several teams interested in acquiring his services in free agency later this summer.
Coby White is certain to have many suitors in this upcoming NBA Free Agency period.
4. Charlotte Hornets
Finishing with 27 wins and the 4th best odds in the upcoming draft lottery, the Charlotte Hornets will no doubt be looking to bounce back better next year. The return of LaMelo Ball as well as presumably adding a top draft pick will certainly help in that regard, as well as a potential reunion with Miles Bridges. Don’t expect them to stop there, as the Hornets are certain to be active players in free agency this summer.
Now that Kelly Oubre is a free agent, the Hornets will need to replace his shot-creation ability while also ideally getting younger in the process.
Projected to have just over $30 million in usable cap space, Charlotte could absolutely make a run at Coby if they’re looking to improve at the two-guard position. With LaMelo locked down at the point, Gordon Hayward at small forward, Mark Williams at center, and the Hornets expected to bring back either Bridges or P.J. Washington, their lone question mark lays at shooting guard.
Of course, any guard the Hornets sign will have to contend with Terry Rozier, but I’m not sure that’s such an overwhelming obstacle for White to overcome. Even if Rozier starts, White could be an incredibly effective first guard off the bench, and would serve as very solid injury insurance in the event LaMelo suffers a serious injury for the third season in a row.