It remains waiting game for Bulls rookie Dalen Terry even after Sunday

TORONTO – Dalen Terry finally earned meaningful playing time on Sunday.

With five minutes left in the opening quarter, in came the Bulls rookie for Patrick Williams, quickly getting in the box score with a back-cut for a lay-up.

So was the 18th overall pick going to read anything into his newly-found rotation spot and almost 10 minutes of work in the loss to Toronto?

Unlikely. Terry knew the Bulls were undermanned against the Raptors, and was just doing his part when called upon. What Terry is really looking forward to is a time when coach Billy Donovan makes him a permanent part of the rotation.

“I know once I get my opportunity, I’m not going to give it up,” Terry said Sunday. “I’m not going to give it up because of the way I feel right now.”

It hasn’t been an easy start to Terry’s NBA career so far, so when he talks about the way he’s feeling right now it covered a range of emotions from doubt and frustration to anxious understanding.

“It was pretty hard at first because all my life I’ve always played big minutes and been a big contributor on the team,” Terry said of the frequent DNP [Did Not Play] Coach’s Decision’s he’s been handed. “It kind of reminds me of my freshman year in college where I started half the year and then I went to coming off the bench, and it was kind of hard on me.

“Lately, I’ve been just trying to keep a positive edge and know that I get to watch all these games, be around these guys, the vets, and learn from everybody on the team. Just waiting my turn.”

That wait will have to continue.

Sunday’s playing time was not the norm, especially with Zach LaVine (left knee management) and Coby White (thigh contusion) out, and a back-end of the back-to-back being played on Monday.

And while Donovan cannot predict when Terry’s “turn” will come, he’s spoken to the rook about making sure he stayed ready.

“[Told him] ‘Here’s the possibility. You could be out of the rotation, you could not get in. The worst thing you can do is sit there and say, OK, this is my fortune for the rest of the year. Then the next thing you know there’s injuries and you’re being thrust into a position to play, and you have to keep yourself ready to play,’ ” Donovan said.

“He’s handled himself really well and I think he sees the situation. He sees that it just can’t be – for him or any young player – put one month in a vacuum, and ‘Oh my God, this is my career for the next five years.’ You’ve got to keep working and he has to make sure that he’s responsible and ready to play.”

That’s what Terry has been doing.

Whether it’s in the extra scrimmages with teammates after practices, off-days, or going to the gym on his own, Terry’s mindset remained he won’t be outworked.

“I’m trying to kill myself in my workouts,” Terry said. “Like I said, when I get my opportunity I’m not giving it back.”

‘Drum’ beat

Andre Drummond stayed in Chicago to get extra work done on his left shoulder sprain, and while there was positive progress reported to Donovan, the big man will remain out of the lineup entering this week.

“It’s responding pretty well,” Donovan said. “I don’t know how close he is to playing, but he’s doing more the last couple days prior to what he was able to do with us leaving [on the road trip].”

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