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Too little, too late for Bulls guard Coby White? Offseason will tell

White has been playing better since his benching and eventual return to the starting lineup, but is that enough for the front office to trust him as a consistent point guard going into next season?

Coby White is still trying to prove he can be an asset to the Bulls.
Coby White is still trying to prove he can be an asset to the Bulls.
AP

Give guard Coby White some credit.

The Bulls’ second-year player at least has tried to change some minds of people in the front office who think an upgrade at point guard is a priority.

The problem: It’s likely too late.

Just don’t tell that to White, who continues to promise that he still is maturing as a point guard and that the best is yet to come.

“[The game’s] just kinda slowing down,’’ White said. “Like I always say, there’s always room for progress, so I know I got a long way to go, but it’s just slowing down, man. And, you know, my teammates are behind me, the coaching staff is behind me, everybody’s patient.’’

Everybody? That might be a stretch, especially since the team was linked with the Pelicans in trade talks about point guard Lonzo Ball in March and could be in play for him this summer.

But what White seems to be 100% accurate about is that the game appears to have slowed down for him.

After getting his turnovers down to start April, he has gotten back to being a bit loose with the ball the last few weeks, but he also has been a better distributor in that time.

What hasn’t suffered is scoring, which is an aspect of White’s game that always has been a strength. White has scored at least 20 points in four of his last six games, including 25 points (seven threes) in a 121-99 win Friday against the Celtics and 21 points (five threes) in the 108-96 victory Sunday against the host Pistons.

“I’m just trying to focus on making the simple threes out there on the court, and just get who needs the ball in the spots where they want it,’’ White said of his recent approach.

What he hasn’t shown, however, is consistency.

That’s why the Bulls could look to add a proven point guard, making White a combo guard off the bench, a role he might be better suited for.

Just don’t try convincing White of that.

“I know that this is what I want to do,’’ White said. “I know that this is what I work for each and every day. In the offseason, during the season . . . So I never really doubt myself. The people around me don’t even allow me to doubt myself, my circle don’t allow me to doubt myself. So I just continue to keep striving, continue to keep pushing. Everything will work itself out.’’

Buying in

Veteran Garrett Temple has played on six different teams in the last nine years, so the well-traveled guard knows a little bit about chemistry in the locker room and when it’s working.

That’s why Temple, a free agent, had no problem admitting Sunday that he would welcome the opportunity to return to the Bulls next season and see this thing out a bit longer.

“I love what we’re doing here.’’ Temple said. “I love the coaching staff. I’m enjoying the front office. I’m really enjoying being around the guys.

“It’s COVID protocol so we haven’t gone out at all or anything. For example in Detroit [Saturday] night we were hanging out together in the lobby area, talking and playing cards. Those type of things. Not every team is like that. I enjoy being here. And I would love to see what we could do to progress this type of team. We have the talent. We’re young. We could make some great steps in the next year or two.’’