Last night in the Bulls defeated the Nuggets 114-108. During the game, fans got to see Coby White's third appearance of the year. White has been out due to injury since early in the offseason. He has played just 32 minutes and is only 1-11 shooting from the field. This has caused some great concern for the fan base.
Today, a thread on Twitter between Salim from Bulls Gold and @BullsBlogger brings up a great debate. Would it benefit Coby White to spend some time in the G-League to help speed up his recovery process?
The G-League Route
On this roster, Coby White is easily the 6th or 7th man. One of the needs of the Bulls is bench scoring. While Ayo Dosunmu has helped fill that role, there are still instances where one more bench scorer could help put this team over the top. Since White's injury held him out of all of the offseason and training camp, it is easy to point to White's conditioning as a possible factor in his early-season performance. By sending him to the Windy City Bulls, he would have the opportunity to gain confidence and improve his conditioning against competition that is just below NBA level. This option is tempting because the Bulls are 11-5 without White. While the Bulls could easily continue hold their own with White getting some reps in the G-League, this option doesn't take in the big picture.
The Status Quo
While Coby White does need to improve his conditioning and confidence, he still needs to find a way to blend with the selfless play of the Bulls offensive core. Fans were able to see how Patrick Williams had trouble meshing with the offense due to him missing training camp much.
Another Bull to look at is Marko Simonovic. The reason why he is in the G-League is that he needs to learn the pace of the game and adjust to the style of play this side of the Atlantic. Unlike Simonovic, Coby White already knows what the NBA style of play is like. White should be able to adjust at an accelerated rate, especially since he has come back from other injuries. It is imperative for White to find a way to fit in the backup rotation of Caruso and Dosunmu, or the Bulls need to continue to keep the rotation as is without White. White struggled last year being a primary ball-handler. With the other offensive pieces, the Bulls have now, White shouldn’t have to focus on that part of his game as much. He can get back to what he does best. Scoring.
Coby White, Trade Asset?
More importantly, Coby White is potentially the biggest trade asset on the Chicago Bulls. While bench scoring is a need right now, a bigger need for the Bulls is forward depth. With the Bulls fighting for the top of the Eastern Conference one trade could potentially make them a title contender. White has two years left on his contract. If the Bulls don't consider him part of the bigger picture, he could be moved in a trade that attempts to bring in the final piece for a championship run.
Either way, White will need to get back to speed and scoring that the Bulls drafted him for. Whether he is the swingman off the bench or the asset that lands the Bulls their final piece, he is vital to the Bulls final result this year. Keeping him with the NBA team is the right move. At least for now.