The second-year point guard, Coby White, out of the University of North Carolina has had his ups and downs to start his NBA season, but it has become fair to question whether he is the answer for the Chicago Bulls at point guard going into the future. A lot of expectations were put on him. He was the first top 10 point guard picked by the Chicago Bulls since Derrick Rose in 2008. While he is only finishing up his sophomore season, but nobody is sure if he answers the Bulls’ point guard problems.
Is He Even a Point Guard?
Coming out of North Carolina, White was labeled a point guard with a scorer’s first mentality. He did however show flashes of being a high-level facilitator. This led many to believe he could develop his playmaking ability at the next level. Combine that with his scoring, and he could be a great point guard in the league.
It is now two years into his career and there have not been many telling signs that he will develop into an even average facilitator for the point guard position. A great indicator of a guard’s playmaking ability is their assist percentage. Assist percentage is an estimate of the percentage of teammate’s field goals that were assisted by them while they were on the floor. This season, White has a 21.5%. This number puts him in fourth place on his very own team. Tomas Satoransky, Zach LaVine and Thaddeus young all have higher percentages. This is very telling the type of player that White is.
On most NBA teams, there is nothing wrong with White not being the greatest passer or playmaker, but for the Chicago Bulls, it matters. White’s scoring ability and his lack of playmaking ability for a point guard would make him a perfect shooting guard. He has the height for it at 6-foot-5, but the issue is that the Bulls already have an All-Star caliber shooting guard in LaVine. Both of them are score-first guards that are not great at the defensive end of the floor.
The Long Term Fit
Because of these reasons, it is hard to see him and LaVine playing together in the starting lineup in the future. White is too talented to be regulated for a bench role for the coming years with the Bulls. If the team were to find a solid playmaking guard though, it would probably be the best fit for White. He would be allowed to torch second units with this freedom. Also, he could play without feeling like he needs to make sure that his All-Star teammates are involved.
This is a solution for the time being. In a couple of years when he will enter restricted free agency. He is going to likely garner some attention and be offered a pricey contract. The Bulls would have a few options in this case. The first one would be that they can pay him the money to be their point guard of the future. This would mean hoping that the scoring duo in the backcourt will work itself out. Second, they can see him as the more valuable future asset and let LaVine walk or trade him. Allowing White to be the starting shooting guard. Lastly, they can either pay him big money to come off the bench or walk to a different team where he would receive more opportunity.
It will all come down to how much the Bulls’ front office values him. He has plenty of room to grow and can be an exciting piece for the Bulls or any other team.