Coby White

Bulls' Coby White edged out for NBA's Most Improved Player

76ers guard Tyrese Maxey earns 319 points to White's 305 in close vote

NBC Universal, Inc.

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

A year ago at this time, questions about Coby White’s future centered on whether or not the Chicago Bulls would re-sign him and then, when they did, if he would start or come off the bench.

On Tuesday evening, the only immediate question for White centered on whether or not he’d win the NBA’s Most Improved Player award.

That’s how big a jump that White took.

As it turned out, Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey, considered the favorite entering Tuesday’s reveal on the TNT pregame show, edged out White for the award. Maxey received 51 first-place votes, 18 second and 10 third for 319 total points, while White garnered 32 first-place votes, 43 second and 16 third for 305 total points.

That means Jimmy Butler remains the lone winner of this award in Bulls franchise history. Former Bull Lauri Markkanen won last year’s award for his breakout season with the Utah Jazz.

White averaged a career-high 19.1 points per game with the highest points-per-game increase in the league at 9.4. He also finished seventh in minutes played, with his 13.1 minutes per game jump in playing time also representing a league-high.

White was one of three NBA players with at least 1,000 points, 350 rebounds, 375 assists and 200 made 3-pointers, joining Luka Dončić and Dejounte Murray. His 209 3-pointers broke Zach LaVine's single-season franchise record of 204.

"There are a lot of guys playing well this year. It would mean a lot if I would get that award---just to show the work," he said in a recent interview with NBC Sports Chicago. "And I always say, it would set a standard for other young guys in the league who maybe wasn’t looked at as a power right away. Like, ‘Aw, he was the seventh pick’ and not written off so much but looked at as, ‘He can’t make that leap.’ A lot of people say the leap comes from your second to third year. Mine came from my fourth to fifth year. There’s always still time. I’m only 24. Just continue to trust that work."

Click here to follow the Bulls Talk Podcast.

Contact Us