Coby White

Bulls Notes: Trade Deadline, Caruso, Irving, LaVine, White

The 25-27 Bulls find themselves at a crossroads as this Thursday’s trade deadline approaches, but they don’t have any intention of trading away core players, team and league sources tell Jamal Collier of ESPN.

Collier’s report is consistent with what we’ve heard in recent weeks from other Bulls reporters, including K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago and Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Both Johnson and Cowley acknowledged that the team’s stance could change as the trade deadline nears, but with only about 72 hours left for teams to make in-season trades, it sounds like the Bulls haven’t become any more inclined to sell.

Collier does hear from a league source that the Bulls have shown a willingness to listen to inquiries on Alex Caruso, but says Chicago would probably have to be “blown away” by an offer to actually trade the veteran guard, who is the club’s best perimeter defender.

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • With Lonzo Ball‘s availability up in the air for the foreseeable future, Kyrie Irving might have made some sense as a Bulls target from an on-court perspective, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. However, Cowley hears that Irving was never on the team’s radar following his trade request. Russell Westbrook isn’t a trade target for Chicago either, Cowley adds.
  • After earning All-Star nods in 2021 and 2022, Zach LaVine isn’t sweating not being named to the team this year, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “I didn’t feel like I played at an All-Star level at the beginning of the season. That’s coming back off of injury. I started slow and then started picking it up,” LaVine said. “I am where I’m supposed to be at. I know who I am as a player. I think the league knows that too.”
  • As Johnson relays, LaVine added that the Bulls haven’t been good enough to warrant sending two players to the All-Star Game (DeMar DeRozan was named a reserve). “I think bigger picture you’re not worried about All-Star, you’re trying to get your team back in the playoff picture,” LaVine said.
  • At one point this fall, it seemed like Coby White might be the odd man out in Chicago’s backcourt, but he has established himself as a consistent rotation piece over the course of the season, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. As Mayberry outlines, the case for hanging onto White and attempting to re-sign him as a restricted free agent is more compelling than it once was, so the Bulls could face a tough decision on the fourth-year guard at the trade deadline if they get a viable trade offer for him.

Bulls Notes: Drummond, White, Caruso, Williams

Bulls center Andre Drummond is averaging a career-low 12.8 minutes per game, but he’s making the most of his limited playing time. As K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes, when he racked up 15 points and 11 rebounds on Thursday vs. Charlotte, Drummond became the first player since Daryl Dawkins in 1979 to reach those statistical benchmarks while playing no more than 15 minutes.

“Am I OK with it? I’m never OK with it,” Drummond said of his modest role. “At the end of the day, I’m a basketball player and I want to play.

“But the circumstances that I’m in, I have to work my way back to where I want to get to. There are certain routes I have to take to get there. Me being a good teammate and showing guys that I’m here to do whatever it takes to help this team win is what’s going to help me get there. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Drummond, who last summer signed a two-year, $6.6MM contract that includes a second-year player option, is a candidate to be moved before next Thursday’s trade deadline. After reporting last month that it might be a quiet deadline for the Bulls, Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times reiterated that point earlier this week, but said the team may still make a roster tweak or two, such as a deal involving Drummond.

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • As of Friday, the Bulls were taking more calls than they were making, according to Cowley, who hears from one league executive that the team’s asking price remains “very high.” That applies not only to Chicago’s stars, but also to role players like Alex Caruso and Coby White.
  • League sources say the Bulls have turned down some overtures for White, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic writes within a breakdown of the team’s top trade assets. Mayberry acknowledges that uncertainty about Lonzo Ball‘s status going forward may be an important factor in Chicago’s reluctance to move White — it’s still unclear whether the team considers the fourth-year guard a keeper beyond this season, when he’ll reach free agency.
  • Caruso (left midfoot soreness) and Patrick Williams (right ankle sprain) left Thursday’s game early after suffering injuries, as Ryan Taylor of NBC Sports Chicago writes. However, it doesn’t sound like either ailment is serious — both players are listed as questionable to play vs. Portland on Saturday night.

Bulls, Trail Blazers Reportedly Interested In Jae Crowder

While the Bucks, Heat and Hawks have been the three teams most commonly linked to Suns forward Jae Crowder, league sources tell Matt Moore of Action Network that the Bulls and Trail Blazers are also interested in his services.

Previous reports have indicated that Josh Hart might be the most available player on the Blazers’ roster, and Moore hears the same. As we previously noted, Hart’s $13MM player option for next season is non-guaranteed, so he’s expected to decline the option and hit free agency.

The Bulls discussed a deal with the Suns that would have sent Coby White to Phoenix, but “no real traction is thought to be present,” according to Moore. The Suns are reportedly looking for backcourt help and have been hit hard by injuries to key guards this season.

Portland and Chicago have also discussed deals with one another, Moore writes, but he doesn’t specify which players may have been involved.

The Suns have been on the hunt for a star player, with most trade talks veering toward “grander ideas,” per Moore. Phoenix has held out on a Crowder trade in part because it could include his $10.2MM expiring contract in a larger deal for salary-matching purposes.

However, Moore states that the most likely outcome is Crowder will be involved in a smaller trade for a rotation player. The 32-year-old has yet to play this season after a mutually agreed upon holdout.

Trade Candidate Watch: Potential Restricted Free Agents

Leading up to the February 9 trade deadline, we’re keeping an eye on potential trade candidates from around the NBA. We’re continuing today with a handful of players who can become restricted free agents in the offseason if they are extended qualifying offers. The full list of 2023 restricted free agents can be found right here.


Cam Reddish, F, Knicks

Like the rest of the players on this list, Reddish was a first-round pick in 2019, selected 10th overall out of Duke. He was a highly-touted prospect who has shown brief flashes of intriguing potential, but has struggled mightily with consistency, and his game hasn’t translated all that well to the pros.

The 23-year-old is earning $5.95MM in the final year of his rookie contract. The Knicks have reportedly “redoubled” their efforts to trade Reddish, and are said to be seeking second-round draft compensation for him.

Considering his modest averages in 2022/23 (8.4 PPG, 1.6 RPG and 1.0 APG on .449/.304/.879 shooting in 21.9 MPG through 20 games), the fact that he’s fallen out of New York’s rotation, hasn’t played a game in six weeks, and is essentially on an expiring contract, it’s hard to envision Reddish having positive value at this point.

I understand why the Knicks are hoping to get assets back after giving up a protected first-rounder to acquire Reddish from Atlanta last season, I just don’t view him as a rotational upgrade for the teams that are said to be interested in him, which includes the Lakers, Bucks and Mavericks.

Perhaps the Lakers will offer Kendrick Nunn and a second-rounder if they aren’t able to package Nunn for something more appealing, but that just seems like making a trade for the sake of doing something. Regardless, Reddish is likely to be on the move ahead of the deadline.

Coby White, G, Bulls

White was the seventh overall pick in 2019 out of North Carolina. Like Reddish and many other young players who enter the NBA after one college season, the combo guard has struggled with consistency in his first four seasons.

However, White’s circumstances differ from Reddish’s in other respects. He seemingly fell out of favor when the new front office regime took over in Chicago, as he was drafted by the previous lead basketball executive, Gar Forman.

White’s counting stats, minutes and production have declined since his sophomore season, which might give the impression that he hasn’t improved. But he has become a better ball-handler, a more willing passer and efficient scorer, and puts in a lot more effort on defense.

A report last week indicated White, who makes $7.4MM this season, could be shipped out of Chicago if the Bulls look for a roster upgrade.

Matisse Thybulle, G/F, Sixers

Thybulle is one of the more unique players in the NBA. He’s among the top defensive players in the league, earning All-Defensive nods each of the past two seasons, but it’s challenging to keep him on the court at times due to his very limited offensive skills.

Specialists like Thybulle used to be much more common. They have fallen out of favor in recent years because players are more well-rounded than ever before, and opposing teams have gotten better at exploiting weaknesses.

That said, if the Sixers do end up trading Thybulle, I highly doubt it will be to just dump his salary to dodge the luxury tax. His strengths are so striking that he should still have positive value, perhaps to a young team that believes it can develop his offense.

Rui Hachimura, F, Wizards

On the other end of the spectrum you have Hachimura, a talented scorer whose game is aesthetically pleasing because he can score in a variety of ways and plays with a physical edge offensively. However, he looks lost at times defensively.

When he’s on, Hachimura can look like a future star – there isn’t much you can do to stop him. The problem is, his jump shot runs hot and cold, he doesn’t get to the free throw line as much as you would expect, he isn’t much interested in passing, and he’s just an OK rebounder.

The Wizards have reportedly discussed Hachimura, who turns 25 next month, in potential deals, with some teams out West said to be interested. I get the sense that the Wizards are open to moving him more because they want to re-sign Kyle Kuzma in free agency rather than get rid of the former lottery pick. He could help a team in need of bench scoring.

P.J. Washington, F/C, Hornets

Washington is one of those jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none types who would appeal to many teams around the league. The Hornets are pretty tight-lipped and there haven’t been any concrete rumors that they’re shopping Washington, just a couple of reports that there was a difference of opinion on the value of his next contract.

The thing is, I think he would still have positive trade value even if he was making close to the $20MM per year he was reportedly seeking instead of $5.8MM, which is his current salary. That’s more than I would personally want to pay him if I were a GM, but players that roughly fit the 3-and-D archetype are always in demand.

Washington met the starter criteria earlier this month, so his qualifying offer was bumped up to $8.5MM. I would be mildly surprised if he’s moved.

Bulls Notes: Ball, Jones, Trade Assets, Donovan

Lonzo Ball isn’t close to returning, but he offered some hope to Bulls fans Friday by posting Instagram videos of himself dunking and running on a treadmill, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the torn meniscus that ended last season for Ball while the Bulls were 21-14 and fighting for the best record in the East. He was originally projected to miss six-to-eight weeks, but complications prevented him from returning at all. Those continued into the offseason and required an arthroscopic debridement in September that Ball is still working his way back from.

Coach Billy Donovan said the Instagram workouts are a sign of progress, but he cautioned that Ball still has a long way to go. He still feels discomfort in the knee, even though it has lessened, and hasn’t been medically cleared for cutting or full-speed running on the court every day.

“There’s going to be a pretty significant ramp-up period for him before he gets back on the floor,” Donovan explained. “Once they say, ‘Hey, he’s free to cut and sprint and take on contact,’ that’s just the first step of however long it’s going to take that process to get to a place where the medical guys and he feels comfortable that he’s built up enough endurance, strength and stamina that he can withstand coming back the next day and doing it again and doing it again.”

There’s more on the Bulls:

  • Derrick Jones Jr. has seen his playing time decrease this season, but he figures to get more minutes while Javonte Green is sidelined following knee surgery, Johnson adds in a separate story. Jones welcomes the opportunity, but doesn’t like the circumstances that caused it. “I’m happy I’m in the rotation now. But I’m also sad that my guy is out. That’s my brother and I’ve always said from day one that I want to see him be great,” Jones said. “We have a great relationship. That’s my ‘dawg.’ I want him back now.”
  • In another piece, Johnson identifies DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine as Chicago’s most valuable trade assets ahead of the February 9 deadline. Alex Caruso, Nikola Vucevic and Coby White also make the list, along with a first-round pick from Portland that’s lottery-protected through 2028.
  • In the wake of Friday’s loss to Oklahoma City, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic laments the team’s lack of an identity and wonders whether Donovan has already accomplished as much as he can with the current roster.

Bulls Rumors: Williams, Caruso, White, Vucevic, DeRozan, Dosunmu

Based on his conversations with executives around the NBA, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype doesn’t believe Patrick Williams or Alex Caruso are on the trade block for the Bulls, as he told guest K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago in the latest episode of the HoopsHype podcast.

One executive who spoke to Scotto suggested the Bulls may have “devalued” Williams by holding onto him until now, but Johnson questions whether the No. 4 overall pick really had a ton of value last season or this past summer, given that a major injury limited him to 17 games in 2021/22.

Johnson and Scotto agree that Caruso would bring back a strong return if the Bulls were to make him available, with Johnson suggesting that Chicago could probably get a first-round pick and a player in exchange for the defensive-minded guard.

However, Johnson still believes the Bulls are more likely to buy than sell at the trade deadline. In that scenario, Johnson believes Coby White would be in whatever package Chicago sends out, perhaps packaged with Portland’s lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick. The Grizzlies previously had interest in White, Johnson adds, though it’s unclear if Memphis would still be a suitor at this point.

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • The general consensus among executives around the league, according to Scotto, is that the Bulls are likely to keep center Nikola Vucevic beyond this season. The veteran center wouldn’t have a ton of value on the trade market and there’s a belief that Chicago won’t want to lose him for nothing in free agency after giving up so much to acquire him from Orlando.
  • Johnson would be surprised if the Bulls move any of their Big Three at this season’s deadline, but suggests DeMar DeRozan would have the most trade value and that Zach LaVine would also draw interest. Johnson notes that Chicago will face an interesting decision on DeRozan this summer, since he’ll be entering a contract year and “you can bet” he’ll be seeking an extension.
  • One NBA exec, speaking to Scotto, had the following to say about Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu, who can be a restricted free agent this summer: “Nobody will put a big offer sheet on him. His situation reminds me of Josh Hart. He could get that type of contract or bet on himself and take the qualifying offer.” As a restricted free agent in 2021, Hart signed a three-year, $38MM contract that wasn’t fully guaranteed; Johnson believes Dosunmu could end up with a three- or four-year deal in the range of $10-12MM per year.

Injury Updates: Magic, Bulls, Celtics, Raptors, Heat, Hayward, More

The Magic will be getting some reinforcements for Friday’s game in Chicago, according to Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Veteran guard Gary Harris has been cleared to make his regular season debut following offseason arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, Price reports. Additionally, starting center Wendell Carter Jr. will be back in the lineup after missing Wednesday’s game due to a strained right plantar fascia.

Orlando’s opponents also got some good injury-related news on Friday. As Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago writes, Bulls guard Coby White (left quad contusion) and forward Patrick Williams (right ankle sprain) both said at Friday’s shootaround that they’ll be able to play against the Magic. White has missed the last eight games as a result of his injury; Williams sprained his ankle on Wednesday, but it appears the injury won’t cost him any games.

Here are several more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • As expected, Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon will be available on Friday vs. New Orleans after missing four games with a hamstring injury. However, the team announced that Marcus Smart (right ankle inflammation) will miss a second straight game (Twitter link).
  • The already shorthanded Raptors will be missing Gary Trent Jr. and Chris Boucher on Saturday vs. Atlanta due to non-COVID illnesses, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. However, Eric Koreen of The Athletic tweets that Dalano Banton‘s ankle sprain isn’t as serious as initially feared and Pascal Siakam (adductor strain) has resumed on-court activity. Another update on Siakam is expected in a week or so, Koreen adds.
  • Heat star Jimmy Butler (knee soreness) has been ruled out for Friday’s game against Washington and it’s possible that Bam Adebayo (knee contusion) won’t be available either, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Adebayo is currently listed as questionable.
  • Hornets forward Gordon Hayward, who has been on the shelf since November 2 due to a left shoulder contusion, has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable for Friday’s game vs. Cleveland, according to the team (Twitter link).
  • Pacers sharpshooter Chris Duarte isn’t expected to be available during the team’s upcoming four-game home stand, but could return from his ankle sprain at some point in the subsequent seven-game road trip, tweets Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star. That trip begins on November 27 and runs through December 7.
  • Sixers guard Jaden Springer, currently assigned to the Delaware Blue Coats in the G League, will miss at least one week due to a right quadriceps strain, tweets Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com.

Central Notes: Crowder, Bucks, Lopez, Cavs, Duren, Bulls

After reporting earlier in the week that the Suns appeared to be making real progress on trading Jae Crowder – perhaps in a three-team scenario – Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports was hesitant to offer many specific details in the latest episode of his Please Don’t Aggregate This podcast on Thursday, noting that he has yet to confirm the exact framework of the deals Phoenix is discussing. However, Fischer was able to identify a presumed frontrunner for Crowder.

“The only other thing I really feel comfortable sharing and confident sharing is that people around the situation have said that Milwaukee is the most likely team to land him,” Fischer said. “I can say that.”

As Fischer notes, he reported last week that the Bucks – who have long been identified as a possible suitor for Crowder – were gauging Grayson Allen‘s trade value around the league. So if Milwaukee does make a deal for Crowder, it seems likely that Allen would be an outgoing piece, either to Phoenix or to a third team.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • After missing most of last season due to a back injury, Bucks center Brook Lopez is healthy and making a significant impact on the defensive end this season, according to Nekias Duncan of BasketballNews.com, who argues that the big man should be in the early Defensive Player of the Year conversation. Lopez is on an expiring contract and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2023.
  • Logan Murdock of The Ringer takes a look at the Cavaliers‘ recent slump and their efforts to become a title contender without LeBron James for the first time in the 21st century. “I think for all of us, everyone is preaching championship,” Cavs wing Caris LeVert told Murdock. “I’ve been around a lot of teams, and it’s a long season. A lot of things happen within the season. So I think for us, just staying focused on the day-to-day, getting the most of each day, trying to maximize our potential each and every day will take care of all the rest of the stuff.”
  • Pistons center Jalen Duren is the NBA’s youngest player and the only one who was born after LeBron James made his NBA debut in 2003, but his teammates and coaches have been impressed with his maturity, writes Jamal Collier of ESPN.com. “He don’t feel 18. He’s not built like he’s 18,” Isaiah Stewart said of Duren, who turns 19 on Friday. “He’s built like a grown man. He’s very mature for his age.”
  • In a pair of stories for The Chicago Sun-Times, Joe Cowley considers what’s next for the enigmatic Coby White once he gets healthy and wonders if some lineup changes are in store for the struggling Bulls.

Bulls Notes: Dosunmu, Markkanen, Williams, Ball, White

Second-year Bulls point guard Ayo Dosunmu wants his head coach Billy Donovan to hold nothing back in his approach, and Donovan has delivered, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Mayberry notes that Donovan is generally more conversant with younger Chicago players than he is with the team’s vets.

“He just wants me to reach my full potential,” Dosunmu said of Donovan. “He tells me a lot. He’s always coaching with tough love. I love that because that’s making me become a better player. I want to soak up as much information as I can to try to get better every game. Coach does that. He’s always on me when I do things positive and negative. And I think at the end of the day that’s going to make me become a better player and help our team become a better team.”

In his second NBA season, the 6’5″ guard out of Illinois is averaging 11.7 PPG on .488/.353/.923 shooting splits. He is also chipping in 3.8 RPG, 3.2 APG and 0.8 SPG.

There’s more out of the Windy City:

  • Seven-foot Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, drafted by the Bulls with the No. 7 pick in 2017 out of Arizona, has enjoyed a breakout run with an upstart 10-5 Utah club thus far. Chicago can learn a lot from Markkanen’s growth into a fringe All-Star talent, especially with regards to the way the team handles raw third-year forward Patrick Williams, opines K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.
  • Although the Bulls are clearly missing the three-point marksmanship and perimeter defense of injured starting point guard Lonzo Ball, the team’s bigger problems will remain even after he returns, Johnson writes in a separate piece. The Bulls lack reliable volume three-point shooters and solid two-way players, which is part of the reason Chicago has is off to a middling 6-9 start this season.
  • Young Bulls role players Williams and Coby White are listed as questionable to play on Friday against a beatable 4-11 Magic team, reports Rob Schafer of NBC Sports Chicago. White’s status actually represents an improvement, as he has missed the last eight Chicago contests with a left quad contusion. Williams sprained his right ankle late in the Bulls’ 124-110 loss to the Pelicans on Wednesday.

Bulls Notes: Terry, Donovan, White, Slow Start

First-round pick Dalen Terry has made only eight cameo appearances for the Bulls this season. He was grateful to get a G League assignment with the Windy City Bulls, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes.

Terry got a chance to play extensive minutes in two games over the weekend before being recalled.

“It was a great experience. It felt good to go against somebody besides the imagination in my head,” Terry said. “There’s no better way to get back into game shape than going down and playing some games.”

We have more on the Bulls:

  • The Nuggets jumped all over Chicago on Sunday, grabbing a 62-47 halftime lead en route to a 23-point victory. Bulls coach Billy Donovan called the first-half performance inexcusable, according to Annie Costabile of the Chicago Sun Times. ‘‘We had three days in terms of no games, so we should have been an extremely fresh basketball team,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘There’s always some form of adversity that hits the game, and we have to be better at thriving in that.’’
  • Coby White has missed the last seven games due to a quad injury and he didn’t practice on Monday. It’s unlikely he’ll practice on Tuesday either, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago tweets.
  • The Bulls are off to a slow start mainly because executive VP of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas chose a path of continuity with a roster full of players with significant injury histories, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times opines.