Bulls guard Coby White could make season debut on West Coast trip
Sidelined by offseason surgery on his left shoulder until this week, White came out of his first full practice on Tuesday with no setbacks. He still has a few more obstacles to overcome but could see action in the next week.
Guard Coby White likely will make his season debut on the Bulls’ upcoming West Coast trip.
White, who was rehabbing from surgery on his left shoulder to repair a torn labrum, had been sidelined throughout the offseason and into fall camp.
He had his first full practice with the Windy City Bulls on Tuesday and suffered no setbacks, coach Billy Donovan said.
“I was in there watching [the workout at the Advocate Center],’’ Donovan said. “I thought he did really well. A lot of credit to him. He got a good quality run in.’’
White, who was selected seventh overall in the 2019 draft, was scheduled to get a second full workout in Thursday before the team flies to San Francisco and will have another practice opportunity Saturday.
The Bulls have a back-to-back against the Clippers on Sunday and the Lakers on Monday, so it’s unlikely White would play in both, but could he see action in one of the games?
That’s still a tough call for Donovan.
“I don’t want to put a date on it just because things can change,’’ Donovan said. “Just see how he feels. He responded really well to the physical aspects of playing: getting over screens, trying to drive downhill, passing with both hands.
‘‘A lot of it is going to depend on how he’s responding and how he feels, then just the medical staff saying, ‘OK, he’s good to go.’ But I do think with the level of intensity he had [Tuesday], he’s going to need that a few more times before we would feel good about putting him back in a game.’’
That won’t be the only tough call Donovan will have to make.
White’s return also means that someone is going to get fewer minutes and eventually be moved out of the rotation.
It won’t be rookie Ayo Dosunmu, however, at least initially.
Dosunmu was averaging 13.6 minutes, and Donovan reiterated how important the former Illinois standout has been to the second unit.
“I think that’s going to be the real key question in Coby trying to get back into the lineup,’’ Donovan said.
“Ayo has played really, really well. It may be a situation where in the beginning — because Coby hasn’t done anything in training camp with these guys, hasn’t played a game with these guys — we’ll need a little bit of a sample size just to kind of get him back.
“I do think one thing Coby can help us with is shooting and spreading the floor. Ayo’s done a great job just with his motor, his intensity, and we need to keep that. My guess is early you can see nine or 10 guys in the rotation until we figure it out.’’
Donovan historically has leaned on a nine-man rotation, so going with 10 could have a shelf life.
The medical staff decided against allowing forward Patrick Williams (surgery on left wrist) to go on the West Coast trip.
The Bulls want to keep Williams together with his teammates as much as possible during his rehab, but he is still limited in his movements, so Donovan said he would be better served by staying in Chicago.