Coby White flew under the radar as a recruit heading into his freshman season. He exceeded expectations and put up a stellar statline of 16 PPG, 4.1 APG, 3.5 RPG, 1.1 SPG and 2.7 TOPG on shooting splits of 42/35/80 with spectacular defense. Here’s the rundown on the young point guard:
Name: Coby White
Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’5/ 8’1.5
Hand size: 9
College/ country: North Carolina
Tools: Speed, defense
- Very quick guard
- Moves well defensively
- Defends against P&R well
- High IQ player
- Turnover prone
- Can sometimes have a loose handle/ try to do too much
- Jump shot needs improvement in fluidity- somewhat of a push shot
- Short frame
- Needs to add strength
- Shooting off the dribble
Overall: Coby White is a defensive minded point guard from North Carolina with two-way potential. In order to achieve two-way status, his offense must gain consistency. This includes decision making and limiting turnovers, improving his jump shot, and adding weight. The turnovers/decision making should improve with maturity, as will weight with an NBA training staff, but his jump shot is a push shot which has caused me to question that department. Luckily for White, he has a high IQ and a high motor, so it’s easy to give him the benefit of the doubt in each of those areas. White is one of the best defensive point guards in the draft class, despite lacking ideal size and length. Thanks to his understanding of the game and quickness, he is able to overcome his short frame. White was elite at defending against screens with UNC, which gives him a strong case to be able to be a positive defender from day one in the NBA. White’s quickness helps him offensively as well by helping him blow by defenders and finish at the rim at a high clip. White’s jump shot won’t be a fatal flaw, but it will be the defining factor between White being a low end starting point guard or him being top 15 at his position.
NBA Comparison: Floor: Ish Smith; ceiling: Jeff Teague
Projected draft range: 6-12
Fit with the Mavs/best fit:
Unfortunately, the Mavs have virtually no chance to realistically land Coby White. If he were in the Mavericks’ range, the argument for him would be based around his scrappiness defensively and IQ. White could be a young Patrick Beverley type right away next to Doncic. Offensively, I’m not convinced that he brings more to the table than Brunson does right now, so they would man a point guard by committee. The argument against White is simply that Luka could play point guard and Brunson already fills a solid role next to Luka, making PG a hard investment in the lottery. Luckily, the Mavs don’t have to face this dilemma barring a trade.
I think White could go as early as Phoenix or Chicago, as both teams need a two-way point guard, but no later than Minnesota or Charlotte. Both Minnesota and Charlotte could be in the market for a long term point guard, and both could conceivably take a chance on White as the point guard of the future for their franchise. Neither team would need to deal with a long adjustment in White’s tempo, since North Carolina was a top 10 team in pace in 2019.