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NBA Trade Rumors: 'Bulls Rejected Significant Interest in Coby White'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 3, 2022

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls "rejected significant interest" in guard Coby White, according to The Athletic's Darnell Mayberry.

White averaged 12.7 points and 2.9 assists in 27.5 minutes per game in 2021-22. He also shot 43.3 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from beyond the arc.

Chicago's stance on White is notable because he's eligible to become a restricted free agent next summer. He and the team can begin negotiating a long-term extension.

The Bulls are projected to have $98.7 million tied up in Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso in 2023-24.

Assuming no agreement is reached now, they'll have the opportunity to match any offer sheet White receives in a year. Doing so could be a costly endeavor, though, and one that means doubling down on a roster that's strong but not good enough to be a championship favorite.

White's future is one of the many subplots that surround the franchise.

Cody Westerlund @CodyWesterlund

By those choices I mean...<br><br>- no high-profile trade<br><br>- no low-profile trade to flip Coby White <br><br>- taking a promising guard at No. 18 with lofty potential but who doesn't look ready soon <br><br>-- adding a backup center who doesn't rim protect<br><br>-- bringing back a backup forward

On Thursday, NBC Sports Chicago's K.C. Johnson said he expects White to remain with the team, citing the Bulls' high asking price for White and their continued belief in the 22-year-old.

Bulls Talk @NBCSBulls

If he had to guess, KC predicts Coby White will be a Bull next season<a href="https://twitter.com/KCJHoop?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KCJHoop</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/UnfilteredNBC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@UnfilteredNBC</a> <a href="https://t.co/7OKbzO2Mcb">pic.twitter.com/7OKbzO2Mcb</a>

White provides nice depth for the backcourt, which can't be taken for granted after Ball and Caruso missed 88 games combined last season. His shooting is also valuable to a team that averaged the second-fewest three-point makes (10.6).

Still, White wasn't so good in his first three years that he's untouchable in trades or considered a foundational piece of the squad. His contract presents a ticking clock too.

Even if it means accepting lesser value, moving White this summer or before the trade deadline might help the Bulls improve elsewhere on the court. Even marginal gains can have a big impact on a team with playoff aspirations.

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