NBA Summer League is officially underway and the Chicago Bulls held their first practice in Las Vegas on Saturday. The team’s summer league head coach John Bryant was very pleased after the practice with how hard the team competed.
“What I will say is our compete level was very high,” said Bryant, “like extremely high, and the three things we talked about going into our team meeting last night was embrace the opportunity, how well we can come together as a team, and let’s be the hardest working, competing team in Vegas.”
Rookie Impressing Early
After the practice, Bryant was also asked about Bulls’ first-round pick Dalen Terry and how he looked on his first day of practice.
“The one thing I’ll say about Dalen today is he was voted by his teammates as the guy who competed the hardest,” said Bryant, “so that lets you know he’s going to be in the mix every single time, but we want to feature Dalen as much as we can.”
Bryant also noted later in his availability that Terry and Patrick Williams were talking and going at each other in a good way. Furthermore, Williams was actually the first teammate to nominate Terry as the most competitive player of the practice.
While it’s early Terry obviously started his first summer league practice on the right foot. It’s impressive that he’s already garnered respect from a third-year player like Williams.
Bryant and Willaims weren’t the only ones impressed with Terry after his first practice. NBA.com Bulls writer Sam Smith came away impressed and thinks might add a special ingredient to this Bulls team.
But he may also possess the intangible that is as important as it is difficult to identify, that emotional obsession that can carry a player beyond his defined skills. And then help arouse the passions of his teammates. Similar to the effect a player like Patrick Beverley can have on a team, Russell Westbrook when he’s flying around and dunking, Kevin Garnett when he’s in the face of the opponent.
If Terry can add something like that to this Bulls team then his impact will be felt right away this season. But first, he has to get through his first summer league.
Summer League Schedule
Terry and the rest of his summer league teammates still have some time before they play their first game on July 8. The Bulls will open the summer league against the Dallas Mavericks at 3 pm CT on ESPNU.
After that, the Bulls will then play again on July 10 against the New York Knicks at 4 pm CT on ESPN 2. They’ll then take on the Toronto Raptors at 4 pm CT on July 12 on NBA TV. Then the Bulls will close their four-game slate against the Charlotte Hornets at 4 pm CT on ESPN 2 on July 14.
This summer league will be a golden opportunity for Terry and other young players like him to earn a spot on the Bulls roster. While summer league isn’t the end all be all for young players it can definitely help them gain confidence.