Coby White Is "Available" and Has Already Been in "A Lot of (Trade) Talks"

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Coby White Is “Available” and Has Already Been in “A Lot of (Trade) Talks”

Chicago Bulls

The trade deadline is less than a month away, and the Chicago Bulls remain of the NBA’s most fascinating teams.

While recent signs suggest that a full-blown roster reset likely isn’t in the cards, the organization remains just a hair from falling out of the East’s Play-In Tournament. This season has made it abundantly clear that the Bulls can not proceed with this pre-existing roster and expect to be considered one of the East’s elite teams. And with that being the case, it’s hard not to picture at least some change coming at this season’s trade deadline.

It’s also hard not to picture Coby White as being a part of that change. Not only has the fourth-year guard been a part of trade rumors in the past, but he was recently name-dropped by Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus when discussing how Chicago could seek out more minor deals in the coming month.

NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson has now only reiterated that point, telling HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto that White very much remains on the trading block:

He’s been available and been in a lot of talks,” Johnson said on the HoopsHype Podcast. “To be frank about the Bulls, it illustrates they won’t just give him away. They were offered direct packages (for him) …

When I talk about them potentially being buyers at the deadline, he’d be one of those pieces where you try and get him in a package. I think individually, his trade return is not that significant, but in the right package with that lottery-protected Portland pick… if they’re buyers, I think he’d be in whatever package they send out.

I think Johnson’s last point is key here. When we talk about trading White, we have to remember that his value – alone – likely isn’t all that much. While he has put together a decent season and hit some pretty big shots in close games, I highly doubt opposing teams have seen enough of him to believe he’s worth a significant return. Not to mention, any team that does trade for him would have to be prepared to pay him a fresh contract this summer, when he is expected to his restricted free agency.

Now, I could always be wrong! White’s value is going to depend largely on what the market looks like and who else is available. If one thing’s for sure, he does have a skill that most teams are always hoping to add: his 3-point stroke.

If there aren’t many options out there, it might not take a whole lot to convince someone to pay more than expected for White. He’s still a 22-year-old, former lottery pick who’s shot 36.3 percent from long range in his career. There is plenty of time for him to come into his own as a legitimately reliable role player.

If his value still isn’t what the Bulls prefer, however, tying him to the Portland first-round pick would make plenty of sense. Again, what exactly that gets you depends on how many buyers/sellers there will be. But I can envision a world where it does get this front office an instant-impact role player. Preferably someone who can remain a part of the picture for the next couple of seasons.

The Bulls are in a position to be relatively picky. As much sense as it could make to trade White, they are at least in line to have control of his free agency this summer by extending him a qualifying offer. Unlike the situation with Nikola Vucevic, whom Chicago could lose for nothing, the Bulls can match any deal that comes White’s way. Then worry about the rest later. Do I think they want or expect to do that? No. But it’s at least an option to avoid entirely wasting a young asset.

Anyway, just keep your eyes peeled for the White rumors. I’m sure we’re going to hear about some more specific players that might interest Chicago in the coming weeks. And it will be interesting to see if those players do align with the idea of White being in the return package.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.