Chicago Bulls: Why Coby White might struggle to develop

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bulls should be ecstatic to have landed a promising point guard in Coby White, but he may struggle.

Coby White, the 6′ 5″ point-guard out of North Carolina, has all the talent in the world to become a rising star point guard for the Chicago Bulls as his career progresses. He has a knack for scoring, creating his own shot with ease, all while blazing by his defenders coast to coast.

The Bulls organization determined that selecting White is the positional upgrade the team desperately needed following harsh reality setting in that Kris Dunn is just not good enough to consistently run a first-team offense. Since becoming a Bull two seasons ago following the Jimmy Butler trade with Minnesota, the Bulls were persistent in giving Dunn every opportunity possible to flourish as their starting point-guard. At least, that’s what the front office wants everyone to believe.

While Dunn certainly struggled both scoring efficiently and setting his teammates up for easy buckets during his two-year run as a starter, the blame for his ineffectiveness shouldn’t fall squarely on the young guard’s shoulders. Rather, plenty of blame should also be directed to the Bulls’ coaching staff…you know: the people responsible for developing players.

Blame both Hoiberg and Boylen’s coaching staffs for not pushing Kris Dunn’s play to new heights during his run as a Bull. While Dunn struggled as a rookie during his lone season with the Timberwolves, he barely had a chance to play in games, thus delaying his growth as a player. Coming to the Bulls was supposed to be a blessing for Dunn, yet, because of the constant dysfunction plaguing the entire organization, it’s no wonder he hasn’t improved as a point guard.

Outside of the play of Derrick Rose, the Bulls organization over the past 10 years has not done a good job developing starting point guards that aren’t established players being signed in free agency. One prime example has been the brief stay of point-guard Cameron Payne.

Payne was a very raw, but talented player who the Bulls felt could break out of his shell with them. Hence, why they felt it was a brilliant move to trade for him back in 2017 in exchange for Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second-round pick. The Bulls in that trade also netted sharp-shooter Anthony Morrow and center Joffrey Lauvergne, but neither made an impact with the Bulls. Besides, getting Payne was the Bulls primary goal in that head-shaking lopsided trade.

Needless to say, Payne, who was often injured, struggled to make an impact with the Bulls during his season and a half stay. Even when healthy and starting games though, Payne looked more lost than Dunn.

Prior to obtaining Dunn and Payne, GarPax relied heavily on veteran point guards to fill the void left from the Derrick Rose trade. Nate Robinson, Kirk Hinrich, Michael-Carter Williams, and Rajon Rondo all started games with the Bulls, but those players were not a part of this endless rebuilding cycle the Bulls are now in.

This all leads back to drafting Coby White with the 7th pick in this year’s NBA Draft. It is very possible that White struggles to grow into his perceived role as a starting point guard with the Bulls because he’s now being sucked into all this dysfunction.

On the bright side, maybe White can flurish, abet the current odds stacked against him given that Jim Boylen is still the head coach. If Boylen departs from his old-school coaching philosophy this upcoming season, thus playing more up-tempo offense rather than stagnant, White can be very successful, given he loves to go full-speed with the ball in his hands. The front office has already echoed that strategy following the draft, noting that the Bulls will look to pick up the pace dramatically next season.

Chicago Bulls: Strengths and weaknesses of Coby White. light. Related Story

Still, despite that promise, if White is to have a successful career as a starter with the Bulls, he’ll need to grow exponentially as a floor general, something Dunn couldn’t do regardless of how fast the team’s pace was. And that is why until proven otherwise, the organization shouldn’t be counted on to do its part in helping bring out the very best in White.