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Coby White Is Soaring Up Draft Boards For A Reason

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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This piece does not reflect the views of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

PG, Freshman, UNC
6’4, 206 pounds

College Stats in 2018-19:

16.1 PPG, 5.1 APG, 4.1 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 42.3 FG%, 35.3 3P%, 80 FT%

Where he’ll go: 

White is expected to be a lottery pick.

The Rundown: 

The two point guards that are most talked about in the 2019 NBA Draft are Ja Morant and Darius Garland. Both are expected to be top-five picks.

We might need to add a third point guard to the conversation. North Carolina point guard Coby White is climbing up draft boards, and for good reason. 

White is a speed demon who has a plethora of tools. He loves to push the tempo of the game and it’s easy to see him succeed on a team with shooters surrounding him. He’s a good shooter from deep, especially in catch-and-shoot situations. Is his release a little low and flat? Yes, and that is a concern. But his release is relatively quick. I don’t think that’s a deal breaker. 

While he’ll have to adjust to the NBA 3-point line, it’s not something he seems overly concerned about.

“I’m been shooting it well in workouts,” White said at the Combine in Chicago. “I’ve always had deep range, so I feel like it’s not an adjustment for me at all.”

He’s a crafty dribbler and is good at finding open teammates, even if his assist numbers don’t necessarily reflect that. Sometimes he gets a little too flashy, hence his 2.7 turnovers per game. But for the most part, he has a high basketball IQ. He looks off other players and generally makes the right basketball play.

With his speed, he’s hard to keep from getting to the basket. While he can absorb contact, he does have a tough time finishing at the rim which won’t get any easier at the next level. One thing that will help him is his ability to hit midrange jumpers after stopping on a dime. If he can get by his first defender, defenses will have to choose to guard White at the midrange or stay back and take away the lob.

Speed allows White to thrive defensively. He can fight through screens and close out and recover fast. He loses focus at times, though, as is the case with a lot of young players.

It really feels like he could play both guard spots if necessary with his scoring mentally combined with his ability to get teammates involved. White told us at the Combine he’s naturally more of a point guard, but feels like he can play both. 

I’m not saying White is better than either Morant or Garland, but I do think his rise before the draft is warranted. 

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