Saturday, June 25, 2022

Bulls’ grade for picking 19-year-old ‘Gritty’ Guardsman revealed

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The Chicago Bulls picked the 2022 NBA Draft, beating Arizona’s Dalen Terry as the 18th overall pick. We won’t really know how good they have been for quite some time. But the Summer League begins July 8 for the Bulls.

The most popular names rumored to have been given to the Bulls during the preliminary draft process were Ohio State’s EJ Liddell and LSU’s Tari Eason.

NBC Sports Chicago’s KC Johnson also reported that they may be looking into a trade-up.

In the end, Terry is the pick and the Bulls got a very encouraging note from The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, who gave them an ‘A-‘.

They were one of 16 teams to earn at least an “A” grade. Nine of those teams performed better than the Bulls. But only two of those were after the Bulls in David Roddy for the Memphis Grizzlies in 23rd overall and Patrick Baldwin Jr. for the Golden State Warriors in 28th overall.

It’s not necessarily the note itself that is most encouraging. The way O’Connor describes Terry should excite Bulls fans.

“I love Dalen Terry. I love him so much. Just like Arizona fans. And I bet Bulls fans will love him too, just like they love Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball. Because Terry’s a hustler. This guy grinds on defense and he’s so selfless on offense. There isn’t a moment he’s on the court that you get the feeling he’s doing anything other than trying to win.

His hustle and grinder mentality should play well at the next level. Terry certainly believes so, citing both in his first media exposure as Bull.

“I believe my defense, my versatility will show immediately. These are things I do every day. I think my leadership…my courage…all the things that have made me who I am will keep me in this position.”

The soon-to-be 20-year-old Terry hasn’t put up any gaudy numbers in his two seasons in Arizona. As a sophomore, he averaged 8.0 points and 4.8 rebounds and showed his passing ability with 3.9 assists per contest.

Those numbers went up from 4.6 points and 3.2 boards as a freshman.

Terry cited his passing ability as the reason he didn’t shoot much in college (only 6.2 attempts per game). His growth as a “glue guy” helped propel the Wildcats to the top of the NCAA tournament, explains The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry.

Terry’s engine and nearly 7-foot-1 wingspan should help him get his hands on a lot of passes after averaging 1.2 steals his last collegiate season.

Bulls CEO, Marc Eversley, noted that Terry has to work on his filming, which Terry also noticed. But he’s shot over 36% from downtown this past season.

He was also very confident that he could keep up with this group during his presser.

“I feel like I fit in perfectly. I’m a long-term keeper who will do anything to win. I’ve seen so much DeMar DeRozan this year, it’s insane. He’s coming into his places. Zach LaVine, the smoothest player ever.”

Terry seems to make instant contributions with his skills. But its age means it has a long time before it reaches its prime. This could allow the Bulls to go across the timelines with several young players to strengthen the team as the players get older.

Both DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic are in their 30s.

Johnson predicted on the June 21 episode of the Bulls Talk Podcast that DeRozan will receive another contract with the Bulls after his current contract expires after the 2024 season.

However, Vucevic is entering the last season of his contract. He has expressed interest in re-signing with the Bulls. But Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported that they were exploring their options with him.

LaVine, 27, is an unrestricted free agent. His return is not yet a guarantee. But NBA correspondent Marc Stein reported that potential applicants were told he would be returning.

He will need running mates as he takes full control of the team, especially those with the defensive advantages offered by Terry.

“I feel like I fit in perfectly. I’m a long-term keeper who will do anything to win. I’ve seen so much DeMar DeRozan this year, it’s insane. He’s coming into his places. Zach LaVine, the smoothest player ever.”

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