Bulls rookie Dalen Terry returns from G-League assignment

Bulls rookie Dalen Terry spent the summer before his first NBA season getting work in and playing pickup games wherever he could.

He spent most of his time working out in Los Angeles. Asked whom he spent time working with, Terry responded, ”Everybody.” But there was one specific encounter that stood out among the rest.

”I was playing two-on-two,” Terry said. ”It was me and Kyrie [Irving] against [Kevin Durant] and somebody else. Kyrie was like, ‘You got KD?’ I was like, ‘Dang, all right. Bet.’ ”

Terry said he stole the ball from Durant once before the two-time NBA champion reminded him who was boss.

”There was nothing I could do about it, but he had to guard me, too,” Terry said, laughing.

Terry lit up while telling the story, emphasizing all he wants to do is play basketball. So when he was assigned to the Bulls’ G-League team Thursday, he didn’t perceive it as a demotion as much as an opportunity to get some quality minutes. Terry hasn’t logged more than 10 minutes for the Bulls so far this season.

”It felt good to go against somebody besides the imagination in my head,” Terry said. ”There’s no better way of getting back in game shape than playing some games.”

On Sunday, Terry scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Windy City Bulls in the afternoon, then was recalled to the NBA for the Bulls’ game against the Nuggets.

Coach Billy Donovan’s message for Terry when he went to the G-League was simple: ”Help the team win.” Terry did that by contributing significantly in back-to-back victories by Windy City. On Saturday, Terry nearly had a triple-double with 18 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.

Donovan said opportunity lies in a player’s mindset, and Terry had the right one during his first tour of duty in the G-League.

”In those situations, it’s so imperative that a player not go down there and think, ‘I have carte blanche to do whatever I want to do because it’s all about my development,’ ” Donovan said. ”The other guys on the roster are all being impacted by that. If you can impact the roster in a positive way, that’s a good sign.”

As far as whether the players’ union has any restrictions about players playing in two games in one day, Donovan said that the Bulls were able to recall Terry and that was all the answer he needed.

White update

Donovan had no significant update on the status of guard Coby White, who missed his seventh consecutive game with a bruised left quad. Donovan said White is doing better, but the biggest issue remains swelling in his leg.

Donovan said the injury will set White back significantly because of the toll it has taken on his endurance. Donovan isn’t concerned about his touches and timing, but White hasn’t been able to use his legs, so the biggest hurdle will be ramping back up to the level he had reached in summer workouts and during the preseason.

”He’s doing some light jogging,” Donovan said. ”Cutting, moving, jumping, all those things, I don’t know how far we are away from that. Clearly, before he gets back on the court, the medical guys will want to see that his conditioning is where it needs to be.”

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