New roles, new expectations for Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen and Coby White

Both were counted on as pillars in the rebuild last season, and now Markkanen and White find themselves just key reserves off the bench. Not easy for either to swallow, but roles they need to embrace if the Bulls want to see the postseason.

The minutes haven’t necessarily changed that much for Coby White and Lauri Markkanen since the Bulls gave the roster a facelift at the trade deadline.

White’s near the 27 minutes per game he was getting since he lost his starting job to Tomas Satoransky, while Markkanen has lost about four minutes per game with his new role off the bench and the additions of Nikola Vucevic and Daniel Theis into the frontcourt.

The expectations hovering over White and Markkanen these days, however?

Completely changed.

It isn’t often that two No. 7 overall picks go from future foundation pieces to role players in just one season, but that’s where Markkanen and White now find themselves – like it or not.

“To me, with those two guys, it’s, ‘Just make good basketball plays,’ ‘’ coach Billy Donovan said of where both players currently stand. “They’re probably not going to be featured guys, just calling it like it is. But they’re very important pieces to our team and we need them to play at a high level.’’

Donovan insisted that both will still have plays called for them at certain times, but with the focal point of the offense now running through the post and White, as well as Markkanen when he’s playing the three, each perimeter players, they’ll have to feed off of that philosophy first and foremost.

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Hard for each to swallow?

Likely, but that’s to be expected.

“With any young guy, you definitely think about that,’’ veteran Thad Young said of the demotion both players have endured. “You think about those types of things because …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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