By Joshua M. Hicks
Though countless rumors circulated regarding the 18th overall draft pick, the Bulls surprised the NBA world by keeping the pick and selecting Arizona’s 6’7 sophomore guard Dalen Terry. The selection adds depth to an already crowded Bulls perimeter roster, but also shows that the team is sticking to the memo they wanted to establish since the AKME era began: versatility on both ends of the floor.
Prior to the draft, the Bulls were mentioned in trade rumors to be on the hunt for upgrades to their frontcourt and were linked to players like Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and New York Knicks free agent big man Mitchell Robinson. The Bulls were also reportedly looking to move down in the draft to ultimately acquire additional assets, per NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson. But the team stayed put and selected a player that not many people expected them to take, but the team believes can bring immediate impact.
During his first press conference as a Bull, Terry revealed that he had a workout with the Bulls a couple weeks before the draft, and the Bulls loved him. And for Terry, the feeling was mutual. He even told his agent as soon as the workout ended that he wanted to play for the Bulls, and got his wish. “I’m so glad,” Terry said. “I’m so happy. [Pick #18] was perfect for me.”
Listed with a 7 feet ¾ inch wing span, the sophomore guard brings intensity on the defensive end, something that the team lacked in competition against the league’s best guards with Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso being out of the lineup for the majority of the season.
He models his game after big guards, and even opened up about how he has been watching the Bulls all of last season, calling Zach LaVine the “smoothest player ever”.
Eversley drafted Philadelphia 76ers forward Matisse Thybulle in 2019 during his time as an assistant GM with the team. He briefly mentioned Thybulle as a player Terry can model his game after, stating that although he isn’t currently on the same level as Thybulle, but the characteristics are similar. The versatility component is one of the characteristics that attracted Eversley to Terry. “He brings versatility on both ends of the floor,” Bulls general manager Marc Eversley said. “Defensively, he’ll be able to switch 1-3. Offensively, we believe he is going to get out and run.”
The energy he brings is something Eversley believes the team could use, along with the idea that he has the capability of being a three-point shooter. He shot 36 percent from the 3-point line last season and 57 percent from the field, but there are some developments that need to take place on the offensive end. Terry is aware of that and ready to get into the gym to get to work. “I have to work on my off-the-dribble shooting,” Terry said. “I have to get stronger and grow up quickly. I’m about to play grown men.”
With the Bulls taking another guard in the draft, there are holes that still need to be addressed to solve their rim protection issues. The team plans to address those issues in the offseason and it can happen via trade or free agency according to Eversley. But taking Terry was a best-player available type of selection. “We were pleasantly surprised he was available,” Eversley concluded.