Sunday, January 16, 2022

Breakdown of Bulls’ Coby White options

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Coby White has turned his game around lately, suggesting the Chicago Bulls could use him for what will hopefully be an extended playoff run.

However, White’s contract status adds an element of uncertainty to his future Bulls career, especially after the conclusion of this season.

White is in his third year on his rookie contract, making him eligible for a contract extension after this season. Given his age, three-point shooting skills and 6ft 5 frame, chances are teams will be interested in landing the high-volume top scorer for a long-term role.

The Bulls will certainly be one of those teams, but can they justify paying anywhere from $12 million to $18 million a year for a sixth-scorer knowing they have to tease Zach LaVine with a long-term contract of their own this summer?

While Nikola Vucevic’s contract expires the same year any white renewal would begin (2023), the Bulls are likely to either keep Vucevic or acquire another center at a hefty price tag, which will likely push them into luxury tax territory.

Assuming the Bulls stick with White this season, it’s not inconceivable that the best course of action for them is to switch the 21-year-old to a team in the summer that are keen on the chance of a potential 20-year-old Chops Licks – Scorer for the mix.

Whatever the return, remember that teams are less inclined to pay any bonuses for a player when his contract has only one year left.

Perhaps the Bulls will decide that Ayo Dosunmu is ready to take White’s minutes, making a modest White return more manageable. Or alternatively, the bulls are proceeding similarly to how they handled the Lauri Markkanen situation, allowing White to hit the restricted free hand in 2023, only to move him into a larger sign-and-trade, which is likely a larger one would set up return.

In theory, the Bulls could also give him an extension before the start of the 2022-2023 season and trade him after July 1 of the following year, as White would have deleted poison pill status, a salary cap created to deter traded advanced players , whose new contracts are not yet finalized.

In this way, the bulls completely avoid restricted agency and take control of the situation themselves.

Finally, White’s extension also protects against the risk of losing Dosunmu, who is only under contract for this season and next.

The good news for the bulls here is that they have options.

White has improved recently, displaying greater and better defensive sense than ever while also displaying improved vision of the pitch. He has never been so efficient at shooting the ball, hitting over 46% of his shots, almost 39% of them from distance.

Of course, should these improvements establish themselves as new stable features in his game, White’s value will increase significantly, which further makes overtime worthwhile as White could exceed the value of his overtime, making him an extremely attractive solution for outside teams, the ‘I’d pay through the roof to trade for him.

With Lonzo Ball and LaVine already in place, any chance of a starting spot for White, even if he improves, seems unrealistic. So when teams call while dangling a seed’s carrot, expect the White’s Bulls career to have an expiration date.

Chicago is all about finding the best way to move forward. The Bulls are tied with the Bucks for best odds in the Central Division, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, so their focus can’t be on their bench as they may have created a window for themselves to be competitive.

Chicago is all about finding the best way to move forward. The Bulls are tied with the Bucks for best odds in the Central Division, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, so their focus can’t be on their bench as they may have created a window for themselves to be competitive.

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