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3 reasons Bulls must not hand out contract extension to Coby White in 2022 NBA offseason

Coby White Bulls

Coby White is a spitfire point guard who can explode at any juncture of the game. He was a lottery pick by the Chicago Bulls in the 2019 NBA Draft, wherein he was a member of the All-Rookie 2nd team. Being promoted as a starter in his sophomore season was a huge step forward as his numbers took a jump in playing over 30 minutes per game.

Coby White will demand the bag as the 2019 draft class is eligible for contract extensions this offseason. The construction and depth chart of the Bulls has put White at the bench, playing behind Lonzo Ball. White’s camp will likely negotiate for him to receive around $15-20 million a year, forcing Chicago to go over the tax and pay a substantial amount for a role player. 

Thus, these reasons illustrated why the Chicago Bulls must not offer a Coby White contract extension.

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Defensive liability

In the first season of White, coach Jim Boylan decided to start Tomas Satoransky for the majority of the season. There may have been a slew of reasons why he did not choose to play White for more minutes, but one apparent reason was his lack of defensive capabilities. Being an undersized playmaker has made it difficult for him to defend orchestrators who are bulkier than White.

White’s numbers in Defensive Win Shares have been far from impressive, but his league rank as a rookie was 109. However, in his third year this season, White has plummeted to 295 in Defensive Win Shares. These numbers have been very abysmal for White, especially with Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso as his teammates. With the gaping holes defensively, it would be challenging for the front office to reward Coby White with a huge deal.

Inefficient shooter

The general NBA fan would label or categorize Coby White as a shooter. Undoubtedly, he could explode for close to 10 three-pointers in one game, but a gigantic question mark on him is his inefficiency and inconsistency. Over White’s first three seasons, he has tallied a shooting percentage of 41.3% from the field and 36.5% from long-distance.

That has been far from impressive, especially with the hype he received before entering the NBA. White has been manufacturing his long-range bombs through off-the-dribble pull-ups and pick-and-roll sets. With a team led by DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine, White needs to improve his catch-and-shoot accuracy because his usage rate may continue to dwindle compared to his first two seasons.

Reliever of Lonzo Ball

Some bench players are still getting paid a substantial amount of money. The probability of the franchise regretting it is at high chance, especially toward the latter part of the contract. Chicago has executed some questionable moves, such as the Jimmy Butler or Nikola Vucevic trade, but they should not make this mistake for Coby White’s contract.

Even if Lonzo Ball is injury prone, DeRozan and LaVine would still handle the ball for most of the possessions. Thus, the front office must decide to invest in more effective and consistent 3-and-D individuals. Having Patrick Willians and Javonte Green is excellent, but coach Billy Donovan will need better wings to complement the tandem of DeRozan and LaVine.

White is an immensely talented individual, so using him as a trade chip to have a better fit in another organization would be a brilliant move. There are still squads like the San Antonio Spurs or Washington Wizards who could be interested because of their shallow point guard rotation, so the Bulls must scour the market and swing a deal before Coby White’s value starts diminishing.