The Toronto Raptors are lying in the grass, waiting for the perfect trade opportunity to strike as the offseason ticks onward. The Chicago Bulls may have unwittingly thrown them a bone in the best way possible by making explosive young guard Coby White firmly available.
White, who has been mentioned as a Raptors trade target in the past, is getting squeezed out of the Bulls’ rotation as Arturas Karnisovas tries to pull out all of the stops and build a winner. Acquiring Nikola Vucevic and DeMar DeRozan in the span of a few months signaled his intentions.
Even though the Bulls sent most of their draft capital for the next few seasons to Orlando to acquire Vucevic, Karnisovas appears willing to give away yet another pick to get off the hook for a potential White extension and add yet another star player.
Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report is claiming that Chicago is currently shopping a package centered around White and the No. 18 overall pick in the draft. Even if the Raptors can’t scrape together a package that lands them both of these assets, White should be pursued heavily.
The Toronto Raptors should go after Coby White.
The pessimist will look at White’s 12.7 points and 2.9 assists per game and get nervous. Why would his scoring and passing numbers drop so heavily in his third season? The optimist would overlook those concerns and see that he is still a prized young guard.
With DeRozan in town and Zach LaVine evolving into a star, White’s shot attempts started to decrease. His 43% field goal percentage and 38.5% success rate from 3-point range were the best of his career. He continued to show flashes of being a quality scorer at this level.
Even if Toronto can’t pro the No. 18 pick away from the Bulls, the fact that White is in the rumor mill signifies that Chicago is ready to move him. Letting White cook as the team’s unquestioned long-term Sixth Man would have such a positive impact that it would be foolish of Toronto to let someone else beat them to the punch.
While White has much more proven skill at the professional level than Precious Achiuwa did when he was acquired from Miami, Nick Nurse was able to get the most out of the big man’s skillset while helping him develop a jumper. White could improve in the same fashion if Ujiri decides to pursue Chicago’s lofty trade package.