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Bulls’ Mere $12 Million Investment Pays off as Coby White Sends Supermax Star Trae Young Home

Published 04/18/2024, 9:01 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Point guard Coby White was given a chance to compete in the NBA after the Chicago Bulls took him in during the 2019 draft. Four years later, the Bulls proceeded to keep the player within their circle after providing him with a three-year, $36 million extension. This allowed him to earn up to $12 million during the ongoing regular season. While not many expected the player to pull off some wonder with the 136th-highest salary in his pocket, White recently went out of his way to defy expectations and pay off huge dividends to the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls recently faced off against the Atlanta Hawks as part of the ongoing Play-In series. For a team that had not managed to go above 120 during seven of their last ten matchups, the Bulls proceeded to make a memorable offensive play and defeat their rivals by a score of 131-116. This score was just shy of the season-high 136 they had scored against the Hawks in February. Coby White came out as the MVP of the game after scoring a career-high 41 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists, all within a span of 43 minutes.

The point guard’s shooting skills played a huge role in accumulating his points total, as he made 15 of his 21 field goal attempts, 3 of his 7 three-pointers, and 9 of his 10 free throws. He even managed to put off a star player like Trae Young, who is currently playing on a 5-year, $215 million max contract. Given that Young managed to drop 22 points during the matchup, the Hawks could not yield as much benefit from their investment as the Bulls recently did.

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Amidst the crowd’s cheers at the United Center in Chicago, Coby White dazzled the onlookers and his rivals as he made brutal crossovers, made shots when no one expected him to, and established himself as a force to be reckoned with. The player is someone who was averaging only 19.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.1 assists during the regular season. His average, however, had seen a slight rise during the last 4 games of the same. With the current clash presented to the Bulls as a do-or-die situation, White managed to reach his peak and saved the six-time NBA championship-winning team from getting eliminated.

Coby White’s improved performance could make it hard for the Chicago Bulls to retain him

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While Coby White’s 19.1 points average is not enough to move him to legendary status, it is a significant improvement from what the player had been scoring during his previous four seasons. Furthermore, his recent 42 points are a testament to how far the player can go. While this is good news for the Chicago Bulls, it may not look the same once the year 2027 approaches.

According to Forbes, the new guidelines released by the NBA this summer allow the max increase on an extension to be only from 120% to 140% of the last salaried year. This means that once White’s contract expires by 2027, the max that the Bulls would be able to offer him is $18 Million. By that time, however, the point guard’s performance could see a rapid rise. If that happens, he would probably choose not to bind himself with such a low-scale contract and would search for a franchise that could offer him at least $30 million or more.

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Apr 14, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Coby White (0) drives past New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) and center Isaiah Hartenstein (55) in the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago fans may not have to worry about bidding adieu to White for at least 4 more years. Till then, they will hope that the player continues maintaining his current performance and may even help to usher in a prosperous era that the franchise hasn’t seen since the days of Michael Jordan. Do you think that it’s too early to make a claim like that? Let us know in the comments down below.

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Written by:

Ashmit Kumar

824Articles

One take at a time

Ashmit is an NBA Content Analyst at EssentiallySports. Having started as a writer, he specializes in writing captivating stories that include the elements of in-depth coverage of teams, players and more. Due to his knowledge of the technicalities of the sport, Ashmit writes perspective pieces that provide well-researched analysis.
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Edited by:

Shivatmika Manvi