Retired NBA player Kendrick Perkins had some harsh words for current coach Jim Boylen. Perkins recently claimed that Chicago Bulls rookie Coby White’s potential has been held back.
One of the biggest criticisms of Boylen has been that he has played White off the bench. In response to that critique, Boylen responded by saying he liked “what he’s doing for us right now coming off the bench.” The 20 year-old White played in 65 games in the shortened 2019-20 season, starting in 1 game. He averaged just shy of 26 minutes on the floor but at one point, that number was more than 30. White’s overall shooting percentage needs improvement but he made better than 35 percent of his three-point attempts in his rookie season, which helped his scoring numbers at 13 a game.
NBC Sports NBA insider Tom Haberstroh recently had this observation of White. “I’m not so sure if he’s Russell Westbrook-level yet, but I think potential All-Star is what I would say for Coby White. When you have that kind of scoring tact in the league where you just have that instinct, you have the size — and he’s gonna fill out — the speed. He just reminds me a lot of De’Aaron Fox, and he’s not an All-Star yet, but he’s still very young in the league.
And when you’re talking about a 19-year-old who’s able to do the things Coby White did, he’s got a very bright future.”
It’s not really fair to evaluate his defensive abilities because they usually play half a year before getting into the NBA world. I don’t expect White to be a master defender at least in his early years because the focus for a potential star of his caliber is more on scoring. It may take a couple years to figure out his defensive game because for a man who broke into the NBA as a teenager, focusing on so many elements of a game before age 21 isn’t going to do White much of a favor. Watching the game from your TV is much different than being on the court against the stars of the NBA.
White graduated from high school in 2018, played at North Carolina for one year and before you know it, he is on an NBA court. Not many can make that jump in less than two calendar years and even with Perkins saying that Boylen has held his game back, a case can be made that he over performed expectations.