Bulls Insider

White feels valued, isn't sweating NBA trade deadline

/ by K.C. Johnson
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
Bulls Insider

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Not much fazes Coby White.

Change his role. Change his position. He focuses on what he can control.

So his approach to Thursday's NBA trade deadline is simple: Focus on the work, not the worry.

"I think I'll be here past the deadline. I haven't really been worried about it," White said Wednesday morning following the Chicago Bulls' shootaround in advance of their contest against the Charlotte Hornets. "That's out of my control, so I don't really focus on that. I just get ready for the games."

As of Wednesday, White's name hasn't even surfaced in any concrete rumors. And last month, NBC Sports Chicago reported that rival executives are under the impression the Bulls will retain White.

But White and Patrick Williams represent two of the Bulls' biggest assets if they are to make a significant move by Thursday. As of Wednesday, there was little buzz around the league about the Bulls making a major splash. And league sources indicated the Bulls were focused more on frontcourt help, not a reported pursuit of Dennis Schröder. In fact, two sources indicated that interest has been overblown.

As the Bulls stand, they already have five productive guards, three of which are currently sidelined. White is on track to start for rookie Ayo Dosunmu, who had replaced the injured Lonzo Ball over the last 14 games. Alex Caruso, who shot jumpers lefthanded in street clothes at the shootaround, and Zach LaVine are the others.


This crowded backcourt picture, as well as the fact White is eligible for an extension of his rookie contract this summer, is why he fielded a question about if he believes the organization values him.

"Yeah, that's why I believe I'll be here (post deadline)," White said.

Starting at point guard is an assignment that White, who has been back to his reserve scoring role, has played in the past.

"It's nothing new for me," White said. "I just go out there and play basketball."

As for his role changing throughout his first two-plus seasons in the NBA, White laughed.

"I'm used to it. It's really been happening since I got here," White said. "It's another thing I can't really control. Whether I'm starting or coming off the bench, whether I'm at point guard or off the ball, I'm still playing a lot of minutes. It really doesn't matter to me as long as I'm playing. I'll figure it out from there."

White grew up Goldsboro, N.C., and said he has about 10 family members and friends attending Wednesday's game. It's where White broke out during his rookie season with a 28-point flamethrower of a performance off the bench on the same night LaVine scored 49 points with 13 3-pointers, including the buzzer-beating game-winner.

"I like coming home," White said. "It's cool."

White will be matched against Lonzo's younger brother, LaMelo, who is headed to his first All-Star game as an injury replacement for Kevin Durant.

"He's talented, obviously," White said. "If you give him space, he has a chance to set you up. That's when he's really good. You just try to take away his space. But he's a well-deserving All-Star point guard, so I'm happy for him."

And, no, White didn't tap his teammate Lonzo's expertise in tips to try to slow LaMelo.

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