The former No. 18 overall pick of the 2022 NBA Draft closed out the circuit with a 20-point, five-rebound, four-assist outing in a win over the Washington Wizards on July 15.
“Honestly, I just listen to my teammates,” Terry told ESPN’s Katie George during the game. “My teammate, Tyree Appleby, on the bench before the game, he was telling me…’I need you to hit one. You’re going to have a good day, I can feel it.’ So I just give credit to him and all the rest of my teammates for just pumping me up because I’ve had a tough Summer League.”
Terry, 21, averaged 13.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.8 steals while shooting 33.8% from the floor and 34.8% from beyond the arc. But he showed up and showed out to end the Vegas trip.
Perhaps most impressive, he was 7-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-5 on threes on the evening. A lot of the consternation over Terry’s Summer League showing leading into the finale revolved around his inefficiency and inability to score consistently in general.
“With Terry’s relative inability to beat defenders off the dribble on his own, he needs to become a more reliable shooter,” wrote NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider K.C. Johnson on July 15. “While Terry does have potential as a connecting piece, if he can’t improve his shooting, it’s hard to envision him getting regular-season rotation minutes.”
He was 15-of-55 from the floor overall and 4-of-18 from downtown in four previous games.
And Johnson was not the only one expressing some level of concern with an anonymous member of the organization revealing similar sentiments internally earlier during Summer League.
“It’s been disappointing to see Dalen really struggle to shoot the ball,” the staffer told Keith Smith of Spotrac. “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.”
Dalen Terry Gets Honest About Summer League Performance
“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 said when asked what his greatest area of growth was. “I mean obviously, I haven’t had a great Summer League. And this game I just had to forget all about it and keep going.”
Even with the rough overall performances, there have been flashes of the things that Terry does well, such as pushing the ball in transition.
“That’s my guy,” Bulls summer standout and Terry’s Windy City Bulls teammate Javon Freeman-Liberty said, per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic on July 12. “That’s been my guy since pre-draft last year. The first time I met him was at OKC. After that, we just locked in. We’ve just been cool ever since then.”
While Terry’s stats may have left many disappointed, he does seem to be internalizing the directions of Bulls assistant John Bryant, who coached the Summer League Bulls. This is Byrant’s second year at the helm with Terry during the summer.
He knows it’s a process and is trying to keep Terry focused on that.
Bulls’ John Bryant: ‘It’s About Growth’ for Dalen Terry
While Terry’s stats may have left many disappointed, he does seem to be internalizing the directions of Bulls assistant John Bryant, who coached the Summer League Bulls. This is Byrant’s second year at the helm with Terry during the summer. He knows it’s a process and is trying to keep Terry focused on that.
“It’s about growth,” Bryant said via the team on July 13. “It’s about can he grow from this game to the next. The only thing I’ve talked to him about is how to be a leader.”
To that end, Terry turned the ball over just once over the final two games and five times over the final four with nine total despite playing both on and off the ball. He also had just one giveaway in the finale.
If there is one downside, it’s that the Wizards sat their Summer League starters, many of whom are destined for spots in the rotation in 2023-24. This is quite the change for Terry who entered the league as a raw prospect but one that some thought could be on the fast track to minutes.
Instead, he saw more floor time than only three other members of his class, per Stathead.