Bulls Rookie Dalen Terry Sounds Off on Rude Awakening

Dalen Terry, Chicago Bulls

Getty Dalen Terry #25 of the Chicago Bulls brings the ball up the court.

The Chicago Bulls are sure to have a spirited training camp with rookie Dalen Terry in the mix. Drafted with the 18th-overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Terry was a late-riser on draft boards due to his intriguing measurables and intangibles.

That is another way of saying that the 6-foot-7 guard/wing is raw.

He is athletic, though not overly so. But what he is more than anything – and, perhaps, anyone – is competitive.

It’s a trait that should serve him well even as he could have to fight to see the floor for the Bulls this coming season. If Terry’s feistiness carries over as expected, it would be hard to keep him off of the floor with a team that is light on players who possess quite the blend of size and ability that he does and he is going about getting better the right way.

Terry Getting a Head Start

“I’m just trying to get in where I fit in,” Terry told reporters after practice on Wednesday. “I’m young and I’m a rookie. There’s a lot of vets on this team. So my time will come when my time comes. Every day is just a different day and working in a better direction.” (h/t Julia Poe/Chicago Tribune)

Where exactly Terry fits on this roster that is in dire need of two-way players is unclear.

His brand of offense could require a deeper understanding of the pro game than he has right now. Defensively, his length would indicate he should be capable of disrupting wings on the perimeter.

But Terry – listed at 195 pounds – is a little too light on his feet and he found that out rather quickly after a minor hamstring injury suffered during NBA 2K23 Summer League.

“It definitely woke me up a little bit and made me realize I’ve got to lift some weights,” he said before saying of teammate Patrick Williams, “You seen Pat? I’m trying to be like Pat.”

Williams is not the only one who has worked on his body this summer.

Second-year guard Ayo Dosunmu bulked up after fading down the stretch last season. Even a veteran (and champion) such as Alex Caruso has worked to strengthen his lower body. Terry is essentially getting a headstart on something that has proven vital to a player’s longevity.

The 20-year-old Terry went on to say that he is not necessarily looking to bulk up as much as becoming more solid to withstand the punishment that comes from an 82-game NBA regular season and, the Bulls hope, an extended playoff run. If Terry can add enough bulk to hold up, perhaps we see him on the floor sooner than expected.

Bulls Know Plans Change

The expectation is for Terry to see a lot of time in the G-League next season with the Bulls fighting for playoff positioning. His shot still needs work and he relies on natural ability at this point.

Still, that natural ability checks a lot of the boxes that Lonzo Ball normally would.

Terry is nowhere close to the shooter that Ball has become. Nor is he as refined in any area the five-year veteran excels in – which is to be expected from a rookie.

But, as we saw with Dosunmu, effort goes a long way for young players. And this Bulls roster battled injury issues last season. It is very plausible that, once his time does come, he never looks back.