This weekend was quiet… too quiet.
I wouldn’t be surprised if many people were suffering from NBA fatigue after the craziness of the 2019 NBA Draft, so a chill weekend across the board was rather refreshing. However, free agency starts at the end of this week, so this is really just the calm before the storm.
Let’s do some bullets!
- First things first… Bulls draft picks are introduced today! The introductory press conferences tips-off at 2:00 p.m. CT and we should be getting to hear more from both No. 7-overall pick Coby White and No. 38 pick Daniel Gafford. We will also be able to hear directly from head coach Jim Boylen on possibly what role to expect both these players in this offseason. Don’t worry, I know it’s Monday and all, so in case you can’t catch the presser, we’ll have a post up shortly after things wrap up.
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) June 23, 2019
- I feel like the basketball world has already fallen in love with Coby White. I mean how could you not after his awesome reaction to former UNC teammate Cam Johnson being a lottery pick and his beautiful written Players Tribune article about the passing of his father (please go read if you haven’t already)? The Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson showed us why all the love for White isn’t anything new, speaking with both UNC head coach Roy Williams and White’s high school coach to get their thoughts on the young man.
Talked to North Carolina’s Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams and Rob Salter, Coby White’s high school coach and pictured hugging him here, about the person behind the player: https://t.co/u1QoDdyoV1
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 23, 2019
- We shouldn’t take this for granted. Logistically, I think this is a great sign for White’s on-court progression. If a guy is said to be this sincere in caring about others, I can only imagine it translates into a game environment. Sure, White needs to learn this offseason (and throughout the regular season) how to facilitate and play a half-court style of basketball, but if his attitude on life is this positive, I think his turnaround could be even faster than expected. I know at times it can be important to separate the character from the skillset, but in this case, I really do think White’s selflessness can help him step into the role needed of him this upcoming season.
- Also, I don’t know about you, but White is already starting to feel like the makings of a true hometown favorite. I would say the Bulls are still heavily looking for that personable player who can motivate this fan base. Zach LaVine has attempted to become that figure a bit this offseason, putting his “workout grind” on Instagram and hanging out with Cubs at batting practice. However, the jury still seems to be out on what Chicagoland really thinks about LaVine as a player. Lauri Markkanen is clearly a fan favorite, but we haven’t seen our Finnish King really put himself out there. I believe White is coming into the perfect position to slowly become a leader and grab Bulls fans by the horns. The team needs to take advantage of White’s caring and charismatic personality to reel fans back in. Yeah, so let’s get this guy in some local car commercials stat!
- The Sun-Time Joe Cowley wrote further about the Bulls having to, literally, change pace this upcoming season on the court. When Jim Boylen first took over last season, he enforced a very old-school brand of basketball that relied on working in the paint (good for Robin Lopez, not great for future success). Apparently, the Bulls organization is stating this was only to help the current players understand some basic fundamentals and the idea of picking up speed was always on the agenda. How true that really was several months ago, will remain a mystery, but I certainly believe the team understands it is now the necessary direction to go. I also touched on this a bit more in my article recapping Paxson’s post-draft press conference.
- Cowley also reported the Bulls will begin practices this week. Las Vegas Summer League is right around the corner on July 5th.
- #COBYCONTENT!!!! Honestly, he might already be the best player ever to wear that number for the Bulls.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 22, 2019
- Need a free agent refresher? NBA Analyst Tommy Beer hooked us up with his free agent ranking, which you can check out here.
- Wendell Carter Jr. took in a recent Chicago Sky game and he showed up ready to ball.
- Speaking of Carter Jr., look at this man’s swat! Having him back on the court, fully healthy, this season ’bout to be fun!
Going through some video from last season and I'm quickly reminded why I love Wendell Carter so much.
The footwork, IQ and defensive poise for a 19-year-old rookie center is otherworldly. pic.twitter.com/zzn4DwxI6i
— Mark K (@mkhoops) June 23, 2019
- Good to see Bobby Portis still checking in on his old Bulls teammates.
— Bobby BP Portis (@BPortistime) June 23, 2019