Credit: UNC Athletics

Coby White Draft Profile

Breaking down the NBA potential of Coby White

Freshman 6’5″ 185 Point Guard UNC DOB: 2/16/00
16.1 ppg 3.5 rpg 4.1 apg FG: 42.2% 3 PT: 35.5%

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Recruiting Profile

Wingspan: 6’4″ 

NBA Comparison: Jamal Murray/D’Angelo Russell

Strengths: Shot Creation, Play Making, Speed/Quickness, Size

Weaknesses: Length, Efficiency, Shot Selection

Coming into this season there were not many analysts who were expecting White to be a one and done player, but his lone season in college was impressive enough to have teams intrigued by his professional potential. When you watch White his speed is one of the first things that jumps out at you, and having top end speed will fit in perfectly with the fast pace of the professional game. While his end to end speed is elite, he also has solid quickness that allows him to make lateral moves and cuts to get by defenders when driving to the basket, and he should be able to do this with ease at the next level. Standing at 6’5″ gives him good size for a point guard, and with his speed/quickness he has many of the tools that teams look for in a modern day NBA lead guard. White did come off screens to knock down jumpers, but his bread and butter is the ability to create a shot off of the dribble. Crossovers, step backs, euro steps and more are all apart of his offensive arsenal allowing him to create a shot at just about any time he wanted at the college level. The fast break is where White shines being able to lead the break and set up teammates, drive to the basket, or slide out and hit an open jump shot. He is not the most explosive athlete vertically, but he still can finish at the rim with a dunk, and his athleticism as a whole when you take into account his speed, quickness, etc. would put him among the top point guards in the league. As a facilitator White showed off some strong passing skills averaging over 4 per game as a freshman, however the position becomes much more difficult at the next level. He will no doubt have better players around him in the NBA, so he should be able to pass the ball at a high level and White projects to have solid passing numbers as a pro. The fact that he can drive to the basket with ease, and the speed at which he can get up and down the court will give him plenty of opportunities to set up teammates with open looks. 

His wingspan at just 6’4″ is a concern, and his defense as a whole brings some questions into his future projection. Despite being quick and possessing elite speed for his size, he struggled staying in front of other players at times when defending and if he did get beat the lack of length hurts his ability to recover with a blocked shot. While the concerns about his defensive abilities are legitimate, with his athleticism and size he should be able to figure it out enough to not be a liability on that end of the court. His ability to attack the basket against professional level talent is questionable with White not being the most explosive athlete when absorbing contact, often times being forced to throw up a bad shot. The shot selection overall was questionable, but he is a play maker first and foremost and as times goes on he will need to improve on when to set up teammates or when to pull up for a jumper. Much like John Wall when he came into the league, White can have a hard time not just playing at 100% speed once the ball in his hands, leading to turnovers or bad decisions. Being able to just simply out pace your peers throughout your basketball career can lead to some bad habits and this is one of them, however his speed is also one of his best attributes so whichever team selects White will need to help him pick his spots of when to slow down and when to go full bore. There is no doubt his shot creation was very impressive as a freshman, but he could have shot the ball at a more efficient level to help his draft stock even further. With that said, his mechanics are solid, and his numbers when you consider his usage, were strong enough that he projects as a potential high level shooter at the next level with some improvement. Shooting free throws at 80% on the season is a good sign that he can move those numbers up somewhat, allowing him to be deadly on the offensive end if he becomes a highly efficient shooter from the outside. 

Here is an example of his ability to create and knock down an outside shot:

This play shows how he can use his speed and quickness to get to the basket:

White is a lock to go in the first round and it seems likely he will be a top ten selection. His ceiling as a professional is a starter level point guard, possibly reaching an all star level, being a high level scorer and play maker. The worst case scenario for White is that he is struggles on the defensive side of the ball, limiting his overall ceiling but still receiving significant minutes as a scoring point guard. 

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