Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley are undefeated on draft night. Just when you think they’re zigging, they’re not even on the same continent as you are. There were probably some truly smart people, or tuned in people, that knew the Bulls were picking Dalen Terry at 18, but I was certainly not one of them. Between all the trade rumors, all the pining for Jalen Williams (taken at 12th) and EJ Liddell (who fell all the way into the 2nd round), all the talk about needing size and shooting, AKME picked “best available” and moved on with the night.
What I like about this pick:
Dalen Terry is an almost 20 year old, 6′ 7″ guard out of Arizona. He weighs a little under 200lbs, and has a wingspan of a tick over 7′. He’s an athletic, disruptive defender, who loves to run in transition and toss perfect passes to teammates 3/4 of the way down the court. In part 1 of my pre-draft guide (The RokDeez Bulls Blog Something, Something Bulls Draft 2022, Part 1) I suggested the Bulls use the 18th pick to draft a Lonzo Ball clone. Dalen Terry’s strengths (and weaknesses) are very similar to those of Ball when he was drafted. In his “post”-draft remarks (the draft was still going on when the Bulls held their press conferences, peak GarPax move and not a good look), general manager Marc Eversley said that he envisions Terry playing the wing, which makes sense when considering his size and length. One positive that really jumps out at me is Terry’s passing. Like Lonzo, is he constantly looking to push the ball ahead on the break, and he’s an excellent pick-and-roll passer. His timing, his ability to fit the ball into tiny spaces, his complete unselfishness with the ball in his hands, has some people calling him Dalen “Magic” Terry. I said I wanted the Bulls to pick a creative playmaker, Dalen Terry checks that box.
What I don’t like about this pick:
Terry is not a shooter. He has great tools, he has shown he is a solid ball-handler, an excellent passer, but his shot needs work. He doesn’t have a midrange game, and appears to need help freeing himself from defenders. I say “appears to need help” because Arizona doesn’t really run Isolation as part of their offense, everything is very screen reliant. Terry may be a great one-on-one offensive player, I just haven’t seen it (thanks Arizona).
The intangibles are intriguing:
Terry is a solid help defender. His reach allows him to poke the ball away from dribblers, and it makes him a disruptive force in the passing lanes. His defense-into-offense style of play fits perfectly with the up-tempo, transition game the Bulls want to play. His passing and steals speaks to higher than average basketball instincts and intelligence, and Terry is a constant source of energy on the court. He is an aggressive player that challenges his opponents on both the offense and defense. His personality is upbeat and infectious, and I can see him fitting very well with his young teammates, Patrick Williams and Ayo Dosunmu. I don’t think we should expect much production from Terry next season, but if we see improvement in his shooting, he could be an important piece for a contending Bulls team.
Before I wrap up, the Bulls also signed undrafted free agent Justin Lewis to a 2-way contract. Lewis is a 20 year old, 6′ 7″, 245lb wing player out of Marquette with a 7′ 2″ wingspan. He plays with power and strength on both sides of the court. He has an “NBA ready” body, and a lot of upside on both ends of the court. He also has a lot to improve upon. He needs to develop skills with his left hand, and become more consistent with his shot and defensive close outs. He is a high upside project, which is why he went undrafted, but most experts consider him to be one of, if not THE, best undrafted free agent from this class. The Bulls did well to sign him, now can they develop him?
Our first chance to see Dalen Terry and Justin Lewis in action will be Friday, July 8th when the NBA Summer League kicks off for the Bulls. I love Summer League basketball, it’s awful and hardly ever translates to the regular season, but it’s basketball in July, so I’m not complaining. But before all that, our attention must turn to Free Agency. Expect a post or two on that, because free agency begins NEXT WEEK!!!!
Until then, thanks for reading and GO BULLS!