How does Dalen Terry fit in the Bulls’ rotation next season?

Dalen Terry, Chicago Bulls, 2022 NBA Draft (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Dalen Terry, Chicago Bulls, 2022 NBA Draft (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

While not necessarily the name most fans expected to hear be called out at the 2022 NBA Draft, Dalen Terry is a versatile talent with a chip on his shoulder as he looks to make an immediate impact for the Chicago Bulls.

No matter how good his intentions may be, things won’t come easy for Terry. If the Bulls had drafted a big with the 18th pick, there would have been a seamless hole to fill on the roster. Instead, Terry joins a logjam of talent at the guard positions behind Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, and Coby White.

Or at least, that’s what you’ve been told.

While Dalen may be listed as a combo guard, his skill set is diverse enough that I believe he can succeed not behind Chicago’s guard talent⁠—but instead next to it. Given Terry stands at 6’7″ and has a ridiculous 7-foot wingspan, he has the size and frame to defend a multitude of positions, including small forward.

As the 18th overall pick and newest member of the Chicago Bulls, Dalen Terry will have to fight hard to carve out a role on this talented roster.

Given the success Chicago has had employing three-guard lineups at times, the most logical thing to do here would be to allow Terry to log minutes at small forward on defense. A lineup of Caruso, Dosunmu, and Terry off the bench would be a nightmare for opposing offenses on the perimeter.

Of course, we’d also like to see him get the chance to play his natural position. Terry’s playmaking ability will help ensure that the Bulls always have at least one plus passer on the court at all times, hopefully preventing the stagnation and heavy isolation play we saw at the end of last season.

As things currently stand before free agency, this is how I imagine the Chicago Bulls’ depth chart to shake out:

  • PG: Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu
  • SG: Zach LaVine, Coby White
  • SF: DeMar DeRozan, Dalen Terry
  • PF: Patrick Williams, Javonte Green
  • C: Nikola Vucevic, Tony Bradley, Marko Simonovic

Obviously, there’s still a lot of work to be done to address the team’s interior depth. Still, selecting Dalen was the right choice when he was in my opinion the best player available on the board. With Jalen Duren and Mark Williams already off the board, this year’s draft lacked any real inspiring interior options, at least in Chicago’s draft range.

For that reason, it was wise to select Terry and worry about fit later. The Bulls will have plenty of time in free agency to address those concerns, as well as the chance to potentially utilize the trade market to clear up minutes for Terry as a rookie.

These avenues should allow the Bulls the chance to acquire depth at both the center and power forward positions. While playing Terry at the 3 and Green at the 4 can be an effective lineup in certain situations, I would prefer we don’t get locked into permanently playing small ball. When you look around and see the Eastern Conference dominated by big men like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid, that concern becomes particularly poignant.

Even so, I still believe Terry may have a surprisingly large role as a rookie with these Chicago Bulls. In spite of the wealth of guard talent on this roster, Dalen will find a way to make himself useful one way or another.

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