Chicago Bulls guard Coby White has matured a lot in his few years in the league.
I remember when Coby first took the court for the Bulls. He had an afro that was bigger than his head and it would sway this way and that as he bounced down the court.
I took to calling Coby “Floppy Noggin” in recognition of the way the hair on his noggin flopped around. The nickname stuck among my circle of friends. Even though Coby has long ago given up his wild afro in favor of a more professional, streamlined appearance, we still call him Floppy Noggin.
From the moment he first took the court, you could tell Coby was going to be a special kind of talent. He was young and he’d only spent one year playing college ball for the North Carolina Tar Heels, but that one season was enough to excite pro scouts.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a long history of basketball excellence. A certain fellow named Michael Jordan played his college ball with the Tar Heels. In fact, during his one spectacular season with North Carolina, Coby passed Jordan on the school’s all-time freshman scoring list.
Prior to college, Coby was the all-time leading scorer in North Carolina high school basketball. During his senior season he was named North Carolina Mr. Basketball – an honor bestowed annually on the state’s top basketball player.
The Bulls took Coby with the seventh pick in the 2019 NBA draft. There was a lot of excitement around Coby, and despite being a teenager, Coby responded.
He wasn’t perfect, though. He made errors, as all rookies do, but he has worked on his game. He watches film, reads the scouting reports, and he takes criticism and turns it into opportunity to improve.
Coby has been in and out of the starting lineup since becoming a Bull. He has responded well and has done whatever has been asked of him. Since returning from surgery earlier this season, he has excelled as a spark off the bench.
With the Bulls’ recent injury woes, Coby has been drafted into the starting lineup. He has partnered with rookie Ayo Dosunmu to form an exciting backcourt. The Bulls needed Floppy Noggin to pick up the scoring slack left with Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball out, and he has strived to do just that.
The Chicago Bulls are at the top of the Eastern Conference. They’ve proven that they are capable of beating all of the top teams in the East. They belong in championship discussions, and this despite not having a power forward on the active roster with Patrick Williams out most of the season.
The Bulls only have a certain window of time that they’ll be title contenders with their core group of LaVine, Ball, DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, and Alex Caruso. If they add a power forward, that might be just what they need to put them in the NBA Finals with a good chance at winning it all this season.
Unfortunately, to get a quality power forward via trade, the Bulls would have to give up assets. Coby White is the trade bait that league GMs are salivating over, and really the only thing the Bulls have to offer. At some point you have to ask yourself what is best for the team’s title chances.
I am a big fan of Coby White and I would hate to see him go, but I would also love to see the Bulls regain the throne as NBA champions.
Being the subject of trade rumors is a difficult thing for any player. To Coby’s credit, he doesn’t let the rumor mill phase him. He shows up every night and plays a controlled, yet exciting, game.
As Bulls legend and current broadcaster Stacey King has pointed out, the game has slowed for Coby. He sees the game with veteran eyes. That’s new this season and that’s why other teams want him now more than ever.
The decision on Coby White’s future is in the hands of Artūras Karnišovas and Marc Eversley. I don’t envy them having to make these kinds of tough decisions. Depending on what’s on the table in terms of trades, this could be a career defining decision for the Bulls’ front office.
Coby White. Will he stay or will he go? I guess we’ll have to wait and see…..
Peace. Love. Trust.
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