Bernstein: Bulls Make Good Call With Coby White

The Bulls needed a new engine in this turbo-charged NBA, and they got one.

Dan Bernstein
June 20, 2019 - 8:03 pm

(670 The Score) They may still be well outside of championship contention, but the Bulls understanding their need for a new engine in this turbo-charged NBA is a clear and positive turn.

Expectations for point guard Coby White should understand how much work his game needs, even if first-round picks from the University of North Carolina have had a way of working out quite nicely for them indeed. Drafted by the Bulls at No. 7 overall Thursday, White has intriguing, raw stuff to his game that has been evident in the open court, and now it's on the coaches to adapt and refine his skills for ball screens and set plays.

You know I don't trust coach Jim Boylen to get that done -- he's too busy blithering about spirit and heart and soul and the "Bulls acrosst (sic) the chest" -- but here's hoping that executives John Paxson and Gar Forman purging the assistant ranks to make room for Chris Fleming and Roy Rogers indicates their understanding of applying modern principles to get back up to speed with their opponents.

And White is fast and quick and has stop-start fast-twitch ability. That can't be coached. He'll need to get in the pick-and-roll lab with one or more assistants tasked with accelerating his understanding of second- and third-order progressions in the half court, focusing him on the kind of decision-making that results in open looks at 3-pointers or dunks. White is said to be a high-character kid and willing to work, which matters even more for a guy who needs a lot more muscle mass to be effective as a professional. He needs to be a weight room fixture, and right now.

Already White can get the ball and just go, which indicates the front office and the bizarro organizational brain trust is done with Boylen's ridiculous slowdowns and low-percentage post-ups -- or at least they want to be. Even before White knows what he's doing out there, his end-to-end speed and desire to attack the defense will be clear. He's fun to watch, right now.

It's a fit, is the point, and the bar is low enough on this night that I'm celebrating the fact that I'm not scratching my head or ruing the fact that I threw my laptop against the wall in a fit of pique.

Coby White is a big combo guard who projects to do the kinds of things that all the good teams do every night -- penetrate, change the shape of defenses, draw plenty of fouls and knock down free throws.

That this makes sense and isn't obviously horrible is something we'll have to agree is good.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in midday. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.