With rookies, it’s always a challenge to figure out if they know what they’re actually talking about or if they’re innocently giving away organizational secrets.
That’s the situation Bulls guard Coby White found himself in Wednesday during a Zoom call in which he discussed being named to the NBA All-Rookie second team a day earlier.
When asked about what he and his teammates would like to see from a new coach, White said, “We haven’t talked about the new coach because it’s so spread out right now. They haven’t really narrowed it down to the people that . . . don’t they narrow it down Friday or something like that? I don’t know. But they haven’t really narrowed it down to where we’ve actually sat down and talked about it.’’
So it will be narrowed down Friday? Thanks, rook.
Before anyone puts too much stock into what White was saying/guessing, however, there are other indications that the Bulls have at least moved into a second round of interviews in their coaching search.
Besides sources indicating that the first round wrapped up last week, several sportsbooks have taken down the odds on the next Bulls coach because of all the one-sided action being put on Nuggets assistant coach Wes Unseld Jr.
And that was before Nuggets coach Mike Malone came out Tuesday night after the upset of the Clippers and declared, “Wes Unseld should be a head coach.’’
Several NBA scouts had heard that Ime Udoka was the leading candidate out of the gate, and Udoka did have an interview with the Bulls — a very impressive interview at that, a source said — but the Unseld momentum has been growing with every impressive Nuggets win during their run to the Western Conference finals.
Unseld has stood out as the defensive mastermind behind Denver’s transformation into giant killers.
It’s easy to see what Unseld brings to a coaching staff by following this postseason, and you can also follow the money. Vegas wasn’t built on being ignorant to insider information when it comes to the sports world. Bets are shut down for a reason.
As for White, he was just glad to be at the Advocate Center talking basketball.
According to the No. 7 overall pick in the 2019 draft, all of his teammates were in town and participating in the early stages of the voluntary minicamp.
This week, it was one player per basket, as well as frequent testing for the coronavirus, but by next week, there will be full five-on-five intrasquad scrimmages. The NBA finally is allowing the eight teams left out of the Orlando “bubble’’ to try to catch up with the rest.
The Bulls likely will do so without a coach at the start.
“I can’t speak on behalf of the rest of the team, but I was kind of surprised [when Jim Boylen was fired],’’ White said. “I really didn’t see it coming. Like I said, Jim, I give him all the credit. He was a great coach when he was here. We’re excited to see change, but take nothing away from him. This season, he helped me out a lot, and I can’t thank him enough.’’
Under Boylen, White averaged 13.2 points and 2.7 assists and won the starting job at the point just before the shutdown. He averaged 20.1 and 22.4 points in February and March, respectively.
“That’s my primary goal — just to continue to get better and, you know, who doesn’t want to be the starting point guard in training camp?’’ White said when asked about second-season goals. “That’s what I want to achieve.’’