Coby White’s early Summer League performance a mixed bag as he adjusts to NBA shooting

Coby White’s early Summer League performance a mixed bag as he adjusts to NBA shooting

LAS VEGAS — The early returns of Coby White’s Summer League performance have been as they are for most young point guards—some tantalizing flashes, a lot of growing pains.

White, the Bulls’ No. 7 overall pick in last month’s draft, has impressed with his speed and court vision. His shooting has been another story — in Sunday’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he scored 15 points on 16 shots, following up Friday’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers in which he scored 17 points on 18 shots.

White has shot 0-for-11 from three-point range in the two games, after shooting a respectable 35.3 percent from deep in his freshman season at North Carolina.

“I was shooting it the same as I was in college,” White said Sunday evening. “I just can't get anything to fall right now.”

White won’t be expected to start from day one on a Bulls team that has aspirations of making the postseason again after two years in the lottery. The team officially signed Tomas Satoransky to a three-year, $30 million deal on Sunday, as well as re-signing backup point guard Ryan Arcidiacono to a three-year, $9 million contract. Kris Dunn, one of the centerpieces of 2017’s Jimmy Butler trade, is still on the roster after a disappointing first two seasons in Chicago. He could be moved by the start of training camp; even if he is, there will be stiff competition for White to earn minutes early on.

His shot starting to fall will help his case significantly.

“I think it’s an adjustment,” said Nate Loenser, the head coach of the Bulls’ Summer League team. “You cannot get too caught up in it yet. The shot looks good for the most part. Shot selection, I know coach [Jim] Boylen is watching film with him a lot, so obviously he wants to do well, he wants to take shots. I thought he took good shots Friday. There are always going to be a few that are going to be questionable, but we want him to be aggressive. So you can’t underestimate the first two [games] here. You are playing a different ball, different line, just a  different situation,, He’s got a good-looking shot. He can knock down shots.I think that is going to come with more and more reps.”

The Bulls envision White helping to guide the team as it looks to play more uptempo next season than it did in 2018-19. He looked out-of-control at times on Sunday, turning the ball over seven times to go along with his poor shooting performance.

White insists that recklessness is not a side effect of the change of pace from the college game to the pro game.

“I think it’s just the fact I always play fast and always play up-tempo,” White said. “I don’t think the change of speed will affect me. I just made some poor decisions. “

That’s what Summer League is for — for young players to feel out the next level of competition and work through their mistakes in a relatively low-stakes environment. The Bulls have big plans for White, but he has a lot of work to do before he gets there.

“I'm still trying to become a better decision-maker on the court,” White said. “I'm trying to become a better point guard. So it's all about continuing to learn and get better.”

Bulls issue statement following death of George Floyd, recent protests

Bulls issue statement following death of George Floyd, recent protests

In a statement issued Sunday, the Bulls joined many in the sports world by speaking up in the wake of George Floyd's death.

Floyd died in police custody on May 25 after Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine straight minutes (a video of which spread across the internet). Since, mass protests have taken root across the United States, including in Chicago.

In the statement, Nancy and Michael Reinsdorf expressed condolences to the families of those mourning, condemned racism in any form and called for action towards equality and justice for all.

“The events of the past weeks have been disturbing and challenging for us all. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as the incident with Christian Cooper, were gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. The Bulls organization sends our condolences to these families who have been caused unthinkable grief and to all those who suffer because of these terrible incidents.

“All too often, after these tragedies we talk but the conversations don’t result in any meaningful changes. Our communities can’t move forward or hope for peace when we’re constantly hitting the reset button after each incident. Everyone deserves to feel safe, to be respected and to be able to reach their full potential. Unfortunately, that’s not the kind of world we live in.

“We are angry, sad and confused. Racism in any form is wrong, and what we see happening makes us want to take action. We know that’s the same for a lot of people. But anger isn’t about destruction. Lawless actions won’t bring better understanding, and they don’t honor the lives that have been lost. We should use our energy and efforts to come together to build a better Chicago that stands for equality and justice for all.

“There is a crisis in our country, and we need to redouble our efforts and work harder than ever. We have to rise above our differences and come together to affect real change for the future; otherwise we’re going to see the past repeat itself again. We have to listen to each other, act with love and be intentional and relentless in our pursuit of a better world. It is time. We at the Chicago Bulls organization are committed to working together to stand for real change. We can do this together.”

Saturday, Zach LaVine, Wendell Carter Jr. and Coby White also voiced their reactions to Floyd’s killing:

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Report: Vote scheduled for ‘20-to-22’ team NBA return plan, expected to pass

Report: Vote scheduled for ‘20-to-22’ team NBA return plan, expected to pass

The NBA is expected to have a plan to resume its season approved by owners at a vote on Thursday, June 4, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

The news comes on the heels of a call with the Board of Governors Friday that yielded nothing definitive. Four potential formats for relaunching the season and a target date of July 31 to resume play were reportedly floated.

But the above report from Wojnarowski marks the most marked progress towards the league formally agreeing on a return-to-play plan to date.

Predictably, the precise details of the plan are not yet known. In conjunction with Zach Lowe and Ramona Shelburne, Wojnarowski reported that the plan is expected to feature invitations for “20-to-22” teams.

That would mean no invite for the Bulls — perhaps a blessing in disguise (or dressed plainly). The Bulls are currently paused with the 24th-best record in the NBA at 22-43, and are 8.5 games back of the eighth-seeded Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference.

Still, the team opened the Advocate Center Friday morning with clearance from both Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago officials. Players in the area will be permitted to undergo NBA-sanctioned treatments at the facility, an opportunity which Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn have already taken advantage of. Voluntary, socially-distanced, individual workouts may begin Wednesday when Chicago is expected to enter Phase 3 of its reopening. Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley will be en route to the city soon.

The NBA suspended its season on March 11 after Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. A resumption bid seems on the cusp of coming to fruition.

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