Press Conference Notes: Coby White and Daniel Gafford Get Introduced to Chicago!

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Press Conference Notes: Coby White and Daniel Gafford Get Introduced to Chicago!

Chicago Bulls

All right, we can officially believe the Bulls didn’t screw up draft night!

On Monday afternoon, John Paxson and Jim Boylen sat down with No. 7-overall draft pick Coby White and No. 38 Daniel Gafford sandwiched between them for an introductory press conference. All four proceeded to take their fair share of question from the media, so let’s go over what you need to know.

  • Paxson had spoken with the media several times leading up to the draft, reiterating the team’s intention to grab a point guard and pursue veteran depth this offseason. When a question came up regarding the Bulls free agency plans, he repeated himself, mentioning that the team would still benefit from multiple veterans. His stance this time came more-so from a point of leadership, wanting these younger Bulls players to be given an example of how to maintain longevity in this league.
  • Otherwise, Paxson emphasized that for their draft picks, this summer is about continuing growing under limited pressure: “We just want them to work hard. Come in every day, try to learn, try to grow to, try to get better, the other things will take care of themselves,” Paxson said. “We’re not going to judge anything on what happens over the next week or the next couple weeks through summer league. We just want them to learn and grow.”
  • White received the most immediate attention (duh) and, honestly, he didn’t have anything particularly groundbreaking to say (not that we expected it). Instead, he said all the right things and expressed his excitement in joining the franchise. The point guard did make sure to state, at first, that he didn’t think he would be here after only a year in college, but he called the whole situation a “blessing.”
  • White was also asked whether or not he’s been able to watch or see any of his new teammates play, and he turned to his visit, watching the Bulls against the 76ers earlier this season as a pretty big moment, so you can check out that below.

  • White claimed his newfound NBA lifestyle has not sunken it yet, but maybe it will now that he is sporting this new get-up!

  • As for Gafford, this was really the first time we got to see a glimpse of the big-man’s personality. And I’ll be the first to say, he appears to be a very cool dude. The guy is certainly a humble player, commenting a couple of times on areas he needs to improve. Gafford recognized he was far from a finished product, even with the comparisons he’s received over the years to Rocket’s center Clint Capela: “I wouldn’t say I’m the next Clint Capela,” Gafford said. “I’d say about the next Daniel Gafford because I’m still working on myself.”
  • Oh, also, he apparently runs like a deer.

  • Considering new Bulls head coach Jim Boylen had not been made available to the media since his contract extension back in May, plenty of question were directed toward him, as well. Boylen failed to speak on the new additions of his coaching staff, stating that the organization will be commenting on this more throughout the week, but did give some insight into his contract extension with the team.
  • According to Boylen, negotiations on the contract began on April 24th, which was two weeks following the conclusion of the season. Then, it only took the organization one day to reach an agreement on the new deal (we all saw this coming).
  • Rightfully so, Boylen kept things focused on the additions of White and Gafford. After putting aside all the coach-speak comments on the players having the right “spirit and soul” (whatever that really means), Boylen did have some reassuring thoughts on the addition of White specifically.

  • Look! Even the Bulls Twitter account tweeted out the quote, that means they have to stick to this, right!?
  • The biggest concern with White on the Boylen offense is probably centered around the head coaches “gritty” style of basketball that’s focused on working in the paint. However, both Paxson and Boylen have now mentioned that the team will have to play the modern style of the game (thank goodness). I think there was a reasonable concern that Boylen could attempt to restrict White’s natural transition playmaking, but this helps clear the air. Obviously, plenty can still happen behind closed doors, but let’s hope the Bulls stick to their guns and decide to run an offense that works around White’s skill set.
  • Well, now that this is all over with… it means we can get to some on-court activity! The Bulls will start practices this week, and apparently, Gafford and White will be putting in work tomorrow according to the presser. Summer League here we come!
  • Also, if you want to rewatch the whole press conference, be my guest.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.