From seventh overall picks to sitting on the bench, this season has been a brutal experience for the Chicago Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen and Coby White.
Markkanen and White have said all the right things since Billy Donovan demoted them from his starting five, but they have not been doing the right things on the court and that is threatening to shorten their career-expectancy in the ‘Windy City’.
Markkanen banked on himself when he failed to agree a contract extension with the Bulls, but since then he has done little to make Chicago sweat and earn himself a lucrative price tag.
The same flaws in his game remain and Donovan has clearly seen enough – he has slashed Markkanen’s playing time by almost 10 minutes since those trade deadline deals to bring in Nikola Vucevic and Daniel Theis.
There were also reports that the Bulls tried to move him on before the deadline, so at this point it appears as though there is no way back for him in Chicago.
But what about White, who was taken seventh overall in the 2019 NBA Draft?
The North Carolina product showed flashes during his rookie season under the archaic approach of then head coach Jim Boylen, and there were high hopes that the arrival of Donovan last offseason could unlock the potential in him.
That has not been the case. White has had his moments, but on the whole he has been an erratic shooter who is sloppy in possession. All of this has resulted in Tomas Satoransky leapfrogging him in the pecking order and Chicago Bulls fans clamouring for Lonzo Ball to be brought in.
Unlike Markkanen though, White may just have a little more time to turn things around. The 21-year-old is still on his rookie deal and the Bulls will not be forced to make a decision on him until it is time to talk terms over a new deal.
The clock is ticking though, and for Markkanen and White the time for talking is over. It is time to deliver.