Rookie Dalen Terry sits and waits while Bulls struggle with consistency

SACRAMENTO — There was some mop-up time in the blowout loss in Phoenix on Wednesday.

Four minutes of it to be exact.

Before that, a few minutes in the one-sided loss in New Orleans two weeks earlier.

And in between? Rookie Dalen Terry left the mop and bucket back in Chicago, and put some work in with the Windy City Bulls of the G League.

Sure, the No. 18 overall pick was hoping for more so far this season, especially with the Bulls so inconsistent from game-to-game, but the waiting game continued on Sunday.

Even with Javonte Green sidelined with a sore right knee and Alex Caruso playing with a sore ankle, there still weren’t those meaningful minutes for Terry off the bench.

And while it’s way too early to say this was how his entire season will set up, Terry admitted that it has felt like a redshirt year so far.

“It’s hard at times, but you’ve got to always know that everything happens for a reason,” Terry said. “This is basically like a redshirt year where I get to work out all the time. I know I’m not playing, but be a good teammate, be around the guys, that’s bigger than anything right now.

“I talked to a few guys. I’ve talked to DeMar [DeRozan], I’ve talked to Pat [Williams] about it, and they just keep telling me, ‘Brah, you’re on a good team. This is a blessing and a curse.’ That’s what happens when you get drafted to a good team. Sometimes you get that year to really develop and learn, but you got to sit. If I was drafted to a bad team, maybe I play a lot, but we’re a bad team. There’s pros and cons both ways. I have to just be patient and make sure I don’t change my love for the game. I know I won’t.”

There was once a defensive-minded wing named Jimmy Butler that all but “redshirted” his rookie year with the Bulls, and as coach Billy Donovan pointed out, when Joakim Noah was a freshman at Florida under Donovan, he averaged six minutes a game.

Those are the examples that Terry was holding onto.

“I still think we’re committed to his development,” Donovan said of his rookie. “The piece of the development that’s probably hard for him is he’s not getting those game minutes, which is important in player development.

“If you’re playing him in the rotation, you’re actually taking someone else out too.”

That’s the missing puzzle piece for Donovan. If Terry goes into the rotation, who does he take out? The other part of it was Terry’s shot is still not consistent enough, and the game still seems to be on fast forward when he’s out there.

“Maybe going forward we feel like let’s get him in there and his energy will help, his skillset will help,” Donovan said. “I still think the growth of him as a player is still very critical. This can’t be a wasted year with limited minutes for him. He’s got to really continue to get better. To his credit he’s done that. He’s kept himself upbeat, he’s getting in the gym, he gets in early. He’s doing all the things he needs to be doing.”

Green with injury

According to Donovan, Green suffered the knee injury late in the Golden State game. He was receiving treatment in hopes of playing against the Kings, but there was still too much soreness Sunday morning.

The Bulls don’t play until Wednesday, so the hope was Green would be available then.

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