Chicago Bulls: History begs patience with Coby White’s development

(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bulls 21-year-old point guard, Coby White, has been one of the most scrutinized young players by the Bulls fanbase. With the ability to shoot the ball efficiently and score from virtually anywhere, Bulls fans have long hoped he would become the franchise’s long-term answer at point guard.

Unfortunately, when asked to be a traditional point guard and facilitate the offense while scoring, it has become clear that Coby White has a ways to go before the Chicago Bulls can consider him a championship point guard.

Many fans, myself included, have been critical of Coby and at times we’ve been quick to suggest that the Bulls move on. I’ve seen numerous mock trades involving Coby White to help land proven veterans like DeMar DeRozan or Ben Simmons who already possess established identities in the league.

However, as I look back at the Chicago Bulls’ history over the recent years and their pattern of dumping young point guards quickly, I believe that it may be best to let Coby develop in Chicago and discover a role that fits his skill set best.

Cameron Payne was one Chicago Bull that the franchise gave up on after one year playing for the Windy City Bulls (the Chicago Bulls G-league affiliate). Payne wasn’t exactly sought after by the rest of the league as he went on to play in China for a year before coming back to the NBA to join the Phoenix Suns. While he never flashed the talent that Coby did, I believe his story and recent postseason success highlights why patience with Coby might be the Bulls’ best course of action as they build out a championship roster.

When Chris Paul got put in COVID protocols and the Suns were looking for another offensive playmaker, it was Payne that was able to step in and perform in a pinch for the Suns when they needed him. Cameron Payne obviously is not a championship starting point guard, but he’s shown that in the right system in the right type of role, he could have immense value off the bench. Perhaps, Coby could fill that role on the Bulls roster if given the time to develop and identify that role for himself.

Another cautionary tale of Chicago Bulls point guards that got let go too soon is Spencer Dinwiddie who played for the Windy City Bulls in 2016. Dinwiddie averaged 19 points and 8 assists for this team and yet, the Bulls let him walk in free agency and sign with the Brooklyn Nets.

For the Nets in 2019-20, Dinwiddie averaged 20 points and 7 assists as he helped lead them to the playoffs. Now, fans are asking the Bulls to go and sign Dinwiddie back in free agency after letting him walk five years prior. For whatever reason, the prior regime gave up on him way too quickly and didn’t give him the chance to develop in Chicago. It’s not like the Bulls had so much point guard talent that there wasn’t space for another promising guard.

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Could Coby White develop into a player like Dinwiddie? Perhaps he can be the kind of guy averaging 20 and 7 in a few years with a better three-point shot. It is impossible to tell what kind of player Coby White can be for the Bulls, but what we can do is be patient with his development and let him grow into a role because if there’s one thing history has taught these Chicago Bulls it’s to not let the young point guards walk early.