If the Chicago Bulls are going to improve upon last season, their younger players need to step up, and one of those is second-year wing Dalen Terry who is coming off a rather disappointing rookie campaign. Terry, 20, failed to get on the floor much and, when he did, struggled to make a consistent impact as rookies often do.
This summer, he is taking the necessary steps to be a more impactful player next season.
Terry averaged 2.2 points and 1.0 rebounds while shooting 25.9% from deep in 215 total minutes across 38 appearances. He averaged 12.8 points and shot 41.7% from deep, 6.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.3 steals during 10 G League Showcase Cup games.
However, he did not appear much improved from his rookie season for much of Summer League in Las Vegas.
He averaged 12.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.6 assists but struggled with efficiency and touch.
“It’s been disappointing to see Dalen really struggle to shoot the ball,” an anonymous Bulls staffer said, per Keith Smith of Spotrac on July 14. “He can do just about everything else. But if he can’t figure out the shot, it’ll be hard to get regular rotation minutes. We have a very competitive wing and guard group.”
It appears the message has been received by Terry who entered the league amid questions about his shooting, rising late to be the No. 18 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. This is not the first time he’s gotten the message loud and clear.
Dalen Terry Learned From DeMar DeRozan
Terry got the full experience that Williams had already been a part of the offseason prior. The former noted during that time that he wanted to emulate DeRozan’s entire career.
Perhaps acting that out, Terry returned on his own to play in the Drew League.
DeRozan had previously taken Terry to the famous pro-am league in August.
A Compton, California native, DeRozan has spoken often about his commitment to playing in the Drew League. He said it is in part because he wants to give those who may not be able to afford NBA tickets a chance to see an NBA player in person. This is on top of lessons about routine and dedication to one’s craft, as Williams described his lessons from DeRozan.
DeRozan is a multi-time All-Star and All-NBA pick and the NBA’s seventh-leading active scorer. It would be difficult to find a better mentor for Terry than the 14-year veteran.
Dalen Terry’s Assessment Sounds Similar to DeMar DeRozan’s
“Just knowing my weaknesses, and just realizing that, even if you don’t got it going, you gotta still keep your head down and keep going,” Terry told ESPN’s Katie George on July 15 when asked where he feels he improved during Summer League. “I mean obviously, I haven’t had a great Summer League. And…I just had to forget all about it and keep going.”
If that sounds like an all-encompassing answer, it is. And it matches with what DeRozan said of his young protege during Summer League.
Terry’s – and Williams’ – development will be key for the Bulls to reach their ceiling with a veteran-laden roster that experienced tremendous overall health last season. This improvement for Terry is a step in the right direction if it does indeed stick.