Bulls rookie Dalen Terry thrown right into the fire in first NBA camp

The baptism was scheduled for Tuesday.

It became a baptism by fire quickly for Dalen Terry.

The rookie was matched up on fellow Bulls teammate – and two-time All-Star – Zach LaVine, and while Terry had watched plenty of film, felt like he was prepared for whatever was coming his way, he quickly found out there’s a big difference between Summer League competition and max contract competition.

“Zach LaVine is very fast,” Terry explained afterward, when asked about what surprised him so far in this first week of training camp. “That was the first time I ever actually played on the court with him. His first step is impeccable. Hats off to him. [Moving forward] I’m going to try and get in front of it.”

Translation: LaVine taught Terry all about the art of the NBA blow-by.

Not the only lesson Terry will be learning the next few weeks.

What remains to be seen, however, is what the Bulls do with the 18th overall pick out of Arizona?

He was drafted in June as a wing defender that thrived on defense and causing chaos on that end of the ball, while playing with an in-your-face attitude.

That was on display quickly when Summer League practices began in July, with Terry going back and forth verbally with Patrick Williams, who was getting in some workouts with the younger guys.

It never reached a boiling point with the two, but it reiterated to the organization what Terry was about.

That attitude he carries with him wasn’t about to change, either, even with the veterans now all in camp and on the floor with Terry.

“I’m me regardless,” Terry said, when asked if he would continue playing – and talking – with that Terry swagger. “I’m going to do that regardless.”

As far as his basketball ability and how coach Billy Donovan plans to use that, the four scheduled exhibition games will be very interesting for Terry.

Even with Lonzo Ball out for an indefinite amount of time, Terry obviously won’t be getting those point guard minutes. There’s Goran Dragic, Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu and Coby White dividing up that playing time. That means Terry will likely be getting his run as a wing defender, competing against the likes of Javonte Green and Derrick Jones Jr. for time on the floor.

“Honestly, I’m just trying to get in where I fit in,” Terry said, when asked if he knew how he would be used. “I’m young, I’m a rookie. There are a lot of vets on this team. I’m just trying to learn, honestly. When my time comes, my time comes. Every day is just another day in a different direction.”

And the immediate direction the organization wants him taking is getting bigger.

Terry was listed at 6-foot-7, 195 pounds, and since arriving in camp has been put on the peanut butter diet to add some weight.

“I’m a skinny dude,” Terry said, when asked what he’s hoping the peanut butter would do for him. “You see Pat? Try and be like Pat. Nah, I’m playing. Just trying to get strong in all ways. Want my body weight able to take a good hit and give it back.

“So yeah, a lot of peanut butter. You all know what peanut butter does. I actually didn’t like peanut butter until I got here, but I’ve got to use it now.”

Adding some mass was a good plan to start off with, but Terry has a lot to work on in this camp.

After all, slowing down “impeccable” first steps doesn’t happen overnight.

Read More

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.