Bulls’ Coby White feels he’s a point guard with the best yet to comeJoe Cowleyon May 15, 2021 at 9:49 pm

White said he didn’t want to be judged on last year, and even the early part of this season. The way the second-year player sees it, he’s still learning and only getting better at the point guard position.

With postseason hopes now officially crushed on Friday night, the list of offseason decisions by this Bulls front office is plenty.

Second-year player Coby White has only been adding to that.

Entering the Saturday afternoon game in Brooklyn, White averaged 18.3 points and 5.1 assists per game in the first seven games in March, while also shooting 43% from three-point range.

Numbers that would seem to indicate that the point guard problems plaguing the team most of the season have been solved in-house. At the same time, a small enough of a sample size where it could simply be a mirage, especially when he went 1-for-10 in the loss to the Nets.

White didn’t agree with the mirage part.

“Disregard everything that happened last year, well, this [earlier] year, I just feel like I’m continuing to grow,’’ White said of his progression as a starting point guard. “I don’t really feel like it’s a thing where, ‘At the end of the season, he gets hot.’ Nah, because I feel like this year I’ve been growing and learning and everything is starting to come together at the right time.

“I feel like if you live right, you do the right things, everything will come together for you. So that’s how I see it.’’

Is that how executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas will see it, however?

White was handed the starting job out of camp, and struggled with consistency on both ends until he was benched for Tomas Satoransky in mid-March. White earned that starting spot back a month later, and has played at a much higher level all around since.

What the front office has to decide is has White shown enough that they can address other positions this summer or is White simply a combo guard who still needs a veteran mentor?

Dennis Schroder, Lonzo Ball (restricted), Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry and Chris Paul (player option), can each be on the market, but also come with big receipts.

White’s stance is the team’s already invested in him, and he’s only getting better.

“A lot of guys my age, especially getting taken out the starting lineup, you could’ve handled that two different ways,’’ White said. “You could’ve pouted and just said forget it, F it, or you could’ve just kept playing and continue to get better and continue to stay on the grind. And I chose to continue to stay on the grind and continue to keep playing. And then my number got called and I took advantage of it.

“I feel like I have the best job in the world. I don’t even look at it as a job really, I look at it as a dream come true. I’m going to continue to get better and continue to grind. I still have a long way to go.’’

Bull market

The Bulls only have seven players under contract for next season, and that included Thad Young and Tomas Satoransky, who each have partial guarantees in the final year of their deals.

Nikola Vucevic will currently be the highest-paid Bull at $24 million for the 2021-22 campaign, followed by Zach LaVine ($19.5 million, but could be extended), Young ($14.1 million), Satoransky ($10 million), Patrick Williams ($7.4 million), Coby White ($5.8 million) and Troy Brown Jr. ($5.1 million).

That list will likely grow to eight guaranteed players with Al-Farouq Aminu holding the player option at $10.1 million.

The Bulls do have the team option on Ryan Arcidiacono at $3 million.

If Karnisovas is looking to deepen his payroll pockets and pursue a point guard like Ball on the market, waiving Young and Satoransky before free agency would save him an additional $13.1 million.

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