Chicago Bulls: Dalen Terry’s 56 point offseason outburst proves he can score

Dalen Terry, Chicago Bulls, 2023 NBA Summer League (Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)
Dalen Terry, Chicago Bulls, 2023 NBA Summer League (Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports) /

With DeMar DeRozan dominating the Drew League, Goran Dragic taking EuroBasket by storm, and now Dalen Terry becoming a one-man wrecking crew in The CrawsOver, this has certainly been one of the most exciting stretches of summer basketball in Chicago Bulls history.

After leading the young guns to a top three finish in the Las Vegas Summer League, Terry has made news yet again with a 56-point explosion in Jordan Crawford’s popular pro-am league. Crawford actually coaches Terry’s Dream Team himself and has helped the squad remain undefeated in the competition so far.

Although last year’s Dream Team featured solid NBA talents like Kevin Porter Jr. and Matisse Thybulle, Terry has been forced to put this team on his back and has risen to the challenge.

On top of his massive scoring performance, Terry also chipped in a ridiculous 15 rebounds and 7 assists. After highlight performances from high-profile NBA rookies like Paolo Banchero and Chet Holmgren and even legitimate NBA stars like Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, and John Collins in The CrawsOver, it’s interesting to see Terry end up having the best game of the bunch so far.

While this was little more than a pro-am exhibition game and shouldn’t be taken too seriously as an indication of what to expect from Dalen in his upcoming rookie season, I do believe it helped provide a little insight into the player he could one day become.

Scoring was far from Dalen Terry’s greatest skill coming out of college, but he’s proven he’s got that and so much more to offer the Chicago Bulls.

What’s most interesting to me about Terry’s performance was how it developed the further the game progressed. In the early moments, he was primarily slashing and looking to convert easy layup opportunities. As the shots kept falling and his confidence visibly continued to grow, Terry transformed into a playmaking shot creator capable of doing things I’ve never seen him do at Arizona or during his brief time in the Summer League.

We already knew Terry was an excellent slasher and rim-running threat from his time in the Summer League and by watching his film from Arizona. What we didn’t know, however, was just how versatile his layup package is, how complete his vision is in the halfcourt, and just how willing Terry is to embarrass defenders with behind-the-back passes, dribble moves, and even an off-the-backboard dunk attempt.

You can watch his full highlight tape below.

Admittedly, Dalen was up against competition that would make even the worst Bulls teams of all-time look like the 1985 Chicago Bears defensively. He was also attempting plenty of shots that I’d much rather see Zach LaVine or DeMar DeRozan taking, as Terry will have a much different role in Chicago’s offense.

Still, it’s great to see the Chicago Bulls draft two self-assured players with the confidence to test their game in Ayo Dosunmu and now Terry. After a long stretch of selecting rookies with confidence issues, adding a few fiery personalities to the young core is a great decision that will hopefully help spark a new era of Bulls basketball akin to the early 2010s and 1990s before it.

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