Bulls HC Billy Donovan Shares ‘One Thing’ Energetic Rookie Cannot Do

Billy Donovan, Chicago Bulls

Getty Head coach Billy Donovan of the Chicago Bulls shouts instructions to his team as they play

The Chicago Bulls have already pulled off one surprise in an offseason that is expected to be tame in comparison to last year’s bonanza. Selecting Dalen Terry with the 18th-overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft came as a surprise to many.

Terry was a late riser in the pre-draft process due to his private workouts. Bulls head coach Billy Donovan noted the 6-foot-7 athlete was the loudest one in the gym after his Bulls session.

That energy was evident in his post-draft Zoom media availability.

It was present again during his in-person press conference on June 27 alongside Donovan and Bulls vice president of basketball operations, Arturas Karnisovas. Both again noted his energy with Donovan citing it when setting a challenge for the youngster.


Keep Doing What You’re Doing

Donovan was asked how Terry fits in with what the Bulls can do on the court. The head coach cited last year’s sole draft pick, second-rounder Ayo Dosunmu, as an example. Dosunmu started 40 of his team-high 77 appearances on his way to second-team All-Rookie honors.

“It’s like the same situation with Ayo last year…with the competitive mentality. And I think the one thing that really stood out in people you speak to [was] just his energy, his enthusiasm. I think his eagerness to want to learn and get better and grow. And then, obviously, his physical talent. His size, his length. But I think if you talk to anybody about Dalen that the thing that comes out loud and clear is his passion and competitiveness to want to win and impact the team.”

Pressed on how the rookie might find his way onto the floor, Donovan again cited Dosunmu who was fifth in games started and seventh in minutes per game on the team.

Donovan then shared the one thing he told Terry cannot happen this season.

“The one thing I told him is, playing 82 games, the season’s so long, the one thing he cannot lose is his enthusiasm and his energy and his passion, his love for the game. The hardest thing a lot of times, over 82 games, is to one game you don’t play, one game you do play. You play poorly…can you come back every day and be the same guy each and every day? That’s how guys get better.”

He then gave another vote of confidence to Terry’s ability to rise to that challenge.

“I feel very, very confident that that’s going to be his mentality going into this season”.

Terry recreating Dosunmu’s impact could be a double-edged sword for the Bulls if it comes as a result of similar circumstances.


Counting on Continuity

The Bulls sticking with their draft slot and taking Terry was a surprise. But only mildly following rumors of a potential draft-night trade. Standing pat could also hint at a tame free agency period once it officially begins on July 1.

As Karnisovas has noted how little time the group has had together since the end of the season. The Bulls starters played 63 minutes together over five games before injuries set in.

They still reached the top seed in the East up until just after the All-Star break.


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Karnisovas has said that he hopes for a return to health that will bring about the team we saw in the earlier stages of the season as opposed to the latter. But, as last year showed, injuries create unforeseen circumstances which led to Dosunmu seeing so much time.

It remains to be seen what other additions Karnisovas and the Bulls will make this offseason.

But, if everyone is right about Terry’s energy, it could be difficult for Donovan to keep him off of the floor. The Bulls just need it to not be out of necessity.

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