CHICAGO – Coby White’s impact on the Bulls should be quick.
The number seven pick is known for pushing the pace, which is a welcomed change to an offense that ranked 20th in the NBA in that category last season.
“We have to run with him,” Boylen noted at White’s introductory press conference. “We want to play faster. We want to play smart, but we want to play faster when it’s appropriate. He’s a guy that can make decisions on the move. We have to get the rest of our team to run with him.”
White knows if he’s going to hit the ground running, he has his own list of improvements to run down.
“Decision making. The league is ball screen heavy, so decision making on ball screens. At Carolina, coaches really wanted me to go one speed and that’s fast all the time. I think coming into the league, I can use my change of speed, change of pace better. I’ve been trying to work on that a lot. Those two things are really key for me.”
Boylen believes both White and Gafford are quick learners.
“We drafted these guys because their ability to be coached,” remarked Boylen. “Everything we got back on them was ‘teachable, coachable, want to get better, care for their teammates.’ We saw Coby’s reaction to his teammate unexpectedly getting drafted that high. Those are the kind of guys that we targeted.”
Gafford was projected to be a first round pick his freshman year, but decided to stay an extra year at Arkansas.
“If I would have come out my freshman year, this process would have ate me up. I didn’t want that to happen.”
Gafford and White bring much different skillsets to the Bulls roster, but both still can’t believe they are where they are.
“It hasn’t really sunken in for me yet. I’m still in awe,” White explained. “This feels crazy for me just because of what I’ve been through and how this really wasn’t the plan for me coming into college. It’s obviously a blessing, especially the organization I’m coming to, but it hasn’t really hit me yet.”
“When it actually hit me is when my agent told me I was going to throw a pitch at the baseball game. I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s about to get real,'” laughed Gafford. “Just had to take a couple of steps back to actually catch my breath.”