Eastern Notes: White, Bertans, Diallo, Pistons, Hornets

Bulls guard Coby White is likely nearing his return from shoulder surgery, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago writes. White faced live contact after the team’s practice on Sunday, a strong sign that the 21-year-old is progressing well in his rehab.

“He’s moving closer and closer to getting to a point where he’s going to be cleared to practice,” head coach Billy Donovan said. “He’s getting a chance to do obviously more contact. I’d like to see him against our guys.”

White is coming off a season where he averaged 15.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game, shooting 42% from the floor and 36% from deep. Despite his absence, the Bulls have opened the season with a strong 6-3 start.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • Wizards forward Davis Bertans remains week-to-week due to an ankle sprain, head coach Wes Unseld Jr. said, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link). Bertans is in the second season of a five-year, $80MM deal he signed with the team roughly a year ago. Players such as Kyle Kuzma and Deni Avdija have seen increased playing time during his absence.
  • Free agent big man Cheick Diallo is joining the Pistons‘ G League affiliate, James Edwards III of The Athletic reports (via Twitter). Diallo, a four-year NBA veteran, last played in Spain. He’s played 180 NBA games since being drafted No. 33 overall in 2016.
  • The Hornets‘ poor defense is largely to blame for their recent slide, Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer writes. The team has lost three straight games, allowing 113, 114 and 140 points, respectively. Charlotte currently holds the ninth-best record in the East at 5-5.
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