Coby White

Bulls 2023-24 season player profiles: Coby White

Guard finished 2nd in Most Improved Player voting after posting career-high averages

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Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

NBC Sports Chicago is publishing a series of player profiles on the main rotational players for the Chicago Bulls, both reviewing their 2023-24 season and assessing what’s ahead.

Next up: Coby White

Previous profiles: DeMar DeRozan

Zach LaVine

2023-24 statistics

79 games, 36.5 minutes per game. 19.1 points per game, 5.1 assists per game, 4.5 rebounds per game. 44.7% FG, 37.6% 3PT on 7 attempts per game, 57% True Shooting.

Contract status

Coby White has two years and $24.9 million remaining on the three-year deal he signed before the 2023-24 season. The contract carries incentives that could push the total slightly higher.

Season review

White averaged career highs virtually across the board, with only his 3-point percentage slightly dipping below the one he shot in his 2021-22 season. But White posted the highest volume of attempts in his five-year career with 7 per game and broke Zach LaVine's single-season franchise record for made 3-pointers with 209.

And that was the theme of White’s season---more of everything. More minutes. More responsibility. More leadership. More scoring and playmaking. He handled it with his typically gregarious and upbeat personality, although he and coach Billy Donovan acknowledged the toll by season’s end.

Despite this slight tail off down the stretch, White finished second to Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey in Most Improved Player voting. Opposing coaches talked about White landing on their defensive game plan as a three-level scorer.

White finished third in the NBA in total minutes, playing over 700 more than his previous high from his second season. Those 2,881 minutes featured a usage rate off 22.7, almost five points higher than his previous season’s.

Last offseason, White placed a major emphasis on improving his already solid ballhandling. The work paid dividends. White’s ability in screen-and-roll situations improved, as did his shot creation.

White joined Dejounte Murray and Luka Dončić as the only players in the league with at least 1,000 points, 350 rebounds, 375 assists and 200 3-pointers. And his defensive intensity improved to the point he ranked second in the NBA in contested 3-pointers and third in offensive fouls drawn.

A look ahead

With success comes responsibility. Both Donovan and White talked openly about how no matter how much preparation White placed into last offseason, nothing could’ve prepared him for the load he’d eventually burden. His off-day routine changed from one of work to recovery.

So now White, already in great condition, acknowledged the need to get in even better shape to handle the two-way and playing time demands on him. Especially if the Bulls follow through on their aim to trade Zach LaVine, White’s scoring must stay stable or increase, while his playmaking and defensive duties won’t disappear.

White averaged a career-high 3.3 free-throw attempts per game, but increasing that average should be a priority. That’s the next evolution in White’s game---finding ways to score easier points to lessen his burden. He’s an adept finisher but learning to draw fouls and power through contact would behoove his game.

White is on one of the better value contracts in the NBA. And with executive vice president Artūras Karnišovas saying he doesn’t view White as a finished product, expectations entering next season will be high for White. Look for him to approach those the way he always has---with hard work and humility.

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