Dalen Terry selected 18th overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 2022 NBA Draft
When Dalen Terry declared for the 2022 NBA Draft, he did so while maintaining his collegiate eligibility. At the time, he was projected as an early-to-mid second-round pick. Terry believed his skillset would translate.
Defense. Playmaking. Unselfish and high-IQ play. Terry said at the NBA Combine he just wanted to see if a team fell in love with him. If it wasn’t going to be in the first round, he said he’d return to Arizona and star for Tommy Lloyd.
But then Terry announced that he’d remain in the draft pool. Since the Combine in mid-May, his stock soared. As expected, Terry crushed the pre-draft interview and workout process. And, yes, a team did indeed fall in love with him as a first-round pick.
That team was Chicago, which drafted Terry Thursday night with the 18th pick in the NBA Draft.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) June 24, 2022
The 6-foot-7 do-everything guard was a crucial piece of the Arizona Wildcats’ 2021-22 Pac-12 championship team.
Terry was a nightly triple-double threat whose numbers (eight points a game to go with 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists) didn’t tell the full story. An All-Pac-12 honorable mention selection, Terry was as dangerous handling the ball as he was working off-ball. He shot 36% on 3s and 50% from the field.
He also terrorized opponents on the defensive side of the floor, averaging two blocks per 40 minutes while finishing third among all Pac-12 players in defensive win shares and defensive box plus/minus.
“You can put me in any situation and I’m gonna figure it out,” Terry said recently after a workout with the Portland Trail Blazers. “If I come in and get drafted, (I don’t care) how high, how low, if I don’t play, I’m going to still be fighting in practice and do what I have to do and I’m going to get on the court eventually.”
You could sense throughout the draft process that Terry’s confidence was rising all throughout. He’ll enter the NBA as one of the more ready-made rookies given his style of play. Terry doesn’t look to dominate the ball on the offensive end, and the jump shot suggests he can be a 3-and-D role player for a team looking to win right now—which would accurately describe Chicago.
Terry sees the floor well. He doesn’t get sped up in transition, delivering on-time passes that more often than not led to buckets. He sees the backdoor cuts and can operate out of a pick-and-roll in the halfcourt.
His length is special. A plus-7-foot wingspan makes him a truly disruptive force.
Terry improved throughout both of his years at Arizona. In the NBA, he should continue to grow.
The Bulls will be looking to build off last year’s 46-36 season, and there are a number of decisions on the docket this offseason.
This is certainly a team built around the backcourt, and that should be true again next season. The Bulls have a number of veteran guards with DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso, and they’ll be looking to re-sign unrestricted free agent Zach LaVine. That’s priority No. 1 for Chicago, as LaVine was tremendous last year and earned a second-straight All-Star selection.
Chicago also has young guards in Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu. All six of the aforementioned guards saw upwards of 27 minutes a night last season while Chicago worked through injuries to Caruso and Ball. With those two sidelined for extended runs, Chicago’s perimeter defense suffered. That’s where Terry might be able to carve out an early role for himself.
With everyone healthy, look for coach Billy Donovan to pare down the rotation a bit. Terry’s addition to the team could allow the Bulls to make some moves around their stars if LaVine returns to the fold, or he could simply prove too valuable a complement to the team’s stars to keep off the floor.
With Terry’s selection, Arizona has its second first-rounder of the 2022 Draft after Bennedict Mathurin was taken with the sixth overall pick. That marks the third time since 2015 the Wildcats have had multiple first-round picks and the fifth time overall in the modern draft era.