Coby White swears his three-point shot was falling in Summer League practices.
In his four Summer League games? Not so much.
White, the No. 7 overall pick in June, wasn’t just cold from long range. He was frigid, leaving Sin City with a sinful 3-for-30 showing from three-point range.
‘‘I’m shooting it the same as I was in college,’’ White said of his struggles from outside.
Form-wise, that’s probably accurate. The results, however, were very different. White finished his one-and-done season with the Tar Heels shooting 82-for-232 (35.3 percent) from behind the arc.
Are the Bulls concerned about their new guard? Not really. Getting caught up in Summer League numbers is the equivalent of dwelling on NFL preseason stats. It’s all minutia until the games start counting.
A shooting slump in July? Move on. After all, there were more glaring concerns in White’s game the Bulls should be focused on fixing in the next few months.
There’s no question White is fast. In transition and in the open floor, he’s a blur. But his ballhandling is vanilla, and he has no wiggle to his game. He was having trouble beating anyone to the hoop in half-court sets, even when bigger players switched to him, and scouts were taking note of that.
The other concern with White was his ball security. Kris Dunn has gone from ‘‘core player’’ to trade candidate in the last year, and his turnovers have been a big reason why. White needs to make sure he’s not headed down that same road, especially if the Bulls are counting on him to develop (eventually) into a point guard.
The good news for White is that he has time. Even if Dunn is traded before the regular season starts, the Bulls’ sign-and-trade for Tomas Satoransky and Zach LaVine’s ability to run the point give White the ability to learn the game and get his 20 to 26 minutes per night off the bench.
So while the Summer League was a great way for White to jump into the pool, he definitely didn’t make the splash some other NBA rookies made.the five most impressive rookies coming out of the July showcase:
Guard | Pelicans
Alexander-Walker did everything the Bulls were hoping Coby White would do. The converted shooting guard showed a surprising ability to play-make.
Shooting 13-for-32 from three-point range was nice. But add in his defense, and the Pelicans just might have a big piece to their rebuild not named Zion.
Forward | Grizzlies
How does a do-it-all forward fall to No. 21 in a pretty weak draft? He’s 22 years old in a world of one-and-done 19-year-olds. But all Clarke did was dominate on both ends of the floor and win Summer League MVP.
The former Gonzaga standout might aid the development of Jaren Jackson Jr. in the frontcourt and make Ja Morant’s transition to the NBA smoother.
Center | Pelicans
There’s a reason Hayes was on the Bulls’radar at No. 7. They opted to go with White based on need, and only time will tell if that was the right decision.
Hayes is a ridiculous athlete. He’s raw, but a few years of getting knocked around in the paint and some much-needed time in the weight room might lead to great things.
Guard | Heat
The shooting was as expected – good and frequent – but Herro also showed an ability to play-make, score in transition and play some solid defense. He definitely opened some eyes.
Forward | Pelicans
It was only a warmup and then nine minutes of playing time before a knee-to-knee collision shut him down for the rest of the Summer League. But what a warmup and nine minutes it was.