Bulls Address Futures of Coby White, Patrick Williams


The United Center during a February 24 game between the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves.

As the offseason comes to a close, the Chicago Bulls are working out the final details on what they hope will be a playoff-contending roster come April of 2022.

Their latest announced moves are the exercising of team options for former lottery picks Coby White and Patrick Williams, per the team:

Both players will now be under contract through the 2022-2023 season.

White, the seventh overall pick from the 2019 NBA Draft, averaged 15.1 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.1 rebounds over 69 appearances with the team last season.

And Williams, the fourth overall pick from the 2020 NBA Draft, had a stellar rookie campaign, starting 71 games for the Bulls and averaging 9.2 points and 4.6 rebounds.

Chicago’s taken on a win-now approach since Arturas Karnisovas’s arrival in April of 2020, and have put together a top assortment of talent within the Eastern Conference ahead of next season.

But what kind of roles can Williams and White expect next year?

The answer will largely vary.

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Is Coby White Long for Chicago?

It’s not surprising that the Chicago Bulls opted to exercise Coby White’s option, even amidst the mounting speculation surrounding his future in the Windy City.

Not only did the team bring in a new starting point guard in Lonzo Ball, but the aforementioned guard also suffered a shoulder injury away from the team in July.

White’s status for the start of next season is still up in the air, and that’s not helping his case to stay long-term.

He was drafted with the idea that he’d be a strong fit at the point guard position but has yet to show the necessary facilitating ability that is required at that position.

With the option exercised, the team maintains control of his salary and rights and can put away another trade asset for the future, because there would undoubtedly be interest if he was made available.

Still, for now, Coby White’s place with the Chicago Bulls is safe, especially given his health status.

But keep an eye out for rumors once he returns to the floor and strings together games.

Is Patrick Williams the Franchise Cornerstone?

On the other end, rookie (now sophomore) forward Patrick Williams couldn’t have a safer spot in the Windy City.

When the Chicago Bulls drafted him fourth overall last year, it came as a shock to some, and dubbed a reach at times.

That went away once he took the court.

Williams is a stellar defender, and towards the end of the season, started to flash some growth on the offensive end.

If that climb continues, then he indeed has a chance to be the next Kawhi Leonard, someone he’s often compared to.

Should the Bulls’ plans at contention not hold up, there’s a very likely possibility that they pivot into a rebuild three to four years from now with Williams at the helm.

But for now, the Chicago Bulls are all in, boasting a starting lineup that includes the 20-year old Patrick Williams.

They’ll take the court in just 30 days on October 22, when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans in their season opener.

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