The Chicago Bulls announced that the Coby White deal reported last week has been made official.
Both parties agreed to a new three-year contract worth potentially $40 million, sources told NBC Sports Chicago on June 30.
Artūras Karnišovas mentioned his desire to re-sign White earlier in the offseason. Karnišovas answered “absolutely” when asked if he’d like to retain White back in April.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Chicago sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
"He's gotten better in every aspect of his game. I think that's a good example of a player that's developing and taking strides, from decision-making to defense to 3-point shooting," Karnišovas said in mid-April. "Especially in the second half of the season, he's been really good for us and has been key in a lot of wins. So he's gotten really better."
After the 2023 NBA draft, the Bulls announced they do not expect Lonzo Ball to return for next season. This could mean, for all intents and purposes, White will become the Bulls' starting point guard for the 2023-24 season, although the imminent addition of Jevon Carter gives the coaching staff another option.
Asked in mid-April about his confidence in White as a potential starting point guard, coach Billy Donovan said this: "I've got a lot of confidence in Coby. And I think I've said this during the course of the season: The growth that he's made from maybe a shortened rookie year with COVID to his second year, third year now, it's been pretty impressive. He's a lot more equipped, I'd say, today to be maybe in that role than he was a few years ago. So I've got a lot of confidence in Coby and just the way he's gotten better. And like I said, he deserves all the credit. He’s the one who put all the work in."
White averaged 9.7 points and 2.8 assists on 44.3 percent shooting from the field and 37.2 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. His shooting percentage from last season matched a career-high; his 3-point percentage finished the second-best season of his career.
White's game has improved visibly since the Bulls drafted him with the No. 7 pick in the 2019 NBA draft. Since, he's improved his ball handling, decision-making and defensive prowess. He's taken on multiple roles since joining the Bulls, accepting any position the Bulls place him and playing to his best ability.
Last season, White predominantly came off the bench, juxtaposed to his second- and third-year seasons when he started 54 and 17 games, respectively. Now, he should have the green light to potentially start as many games as he can play next season.