Coby White's 2019 NBA Draft Scouting Report: Analysis of Bulls Pick

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterJune 21, 2019

North Carolina's Coby White (2) reacts following a basket against Duke during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, March 9, 2019. North Carolina won 79-70. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

The Chicago Bulls have selected Coby White with the No. 7 pick of the 2019 NBA draft.

No other North Carolina guard in history has been drafted in the first round after his freshman season. White emerged as a lottery pick by averaging 16.1 points and 4.1 assists per game while guiding the Tar Heels offense with a lively pace.


Quick hitters

Size: 6'4¾"

Weight: 191.4 pounds

Wingspan: 6'5"

Reach: 8'1½"

Pro comparison: Jamal Murray


Offensive strengths

More advanced as a scorer than as a facilitator, White had five games with 27 or more points in his freshman year. He can catch fire as a shot-maker for stretches of a game, both as a pull-up and spot-up (47.7 percent) shooter. He'll need to improve in terms of execution, but he's a strong creator for himself with step-back footwork and nifty ball-handling moves. White also ranked in the 97th percentile as a pick-and-roll passer, demonstrating a good feel for making the right read and accurate assist. 


Offensive weaknesses

Lacking explosion and great length, White had trouble finishing in crowds. He missed 13 of his 17 runners, and he only shot 25.0 percent on pull-ups in the half court. He was 6-of-29 on isolation drives into dribble jumpers or layups. White also tallied just one assist out of isolation, not showing the knack for setting up teammates off his own creativity. 


Defensive outlook

White flashed glimpses of lateral quickness, and at nearly 6'5", it won't hurt to have a height advantage. Ideally, he'll cover point guards, lacking the upper-body strength and length to defend wings. Either way, White will have to improve his ability to stop dribble penetration around the perimeter. He may never be a plus defender, but he does have the potential to hold his own.


Rookie-year projection

Coming into the league as a teenage point guard, White will require patience before he's able to lead the team as a reliable, primary decision-maker. He may be best suited as a scoring/playmaking spark off the bench as a rookie, assuming his efficiency takes a hit from last season. Still, White should be capable of giving the offense an injection of tempo, streaky scoring and open looks off ball screens.


Projected role: Scoring point guard (starter)

White's size, speed and skill level can earn him a starting NBA point guard job. It's difficult to picture his trajectory taking him to the top of the position's rankings. At worst, he fills a sixth-man role for his microwave offense. At best, he's a solid starter who can help re-establish a team's identity with his tempo and firepower.


Stats courtesy of Synergy Sports, Sports-Reference.