All things considered, the Chicago Bulls have done a great job with the contracts they’ve dished out this summer. Retaining Nikola Vucevic, Coby White, and Ayo Dosunmu on long-term deals was worth every penny, and Jevon Carter and Torrey Craig may prove to be some of the highest-value free agent signings of the summer. However, there are still holes to address and work left to be done to get this team back where it needs to be.
The bottom line here is that if everyone on this team was a great value signing, they’d be better than a 40-42 team that sputters out in the play-in tournament. If every player was outperforming their salary on this team, they’d simply be a much more competitive and dangerous contender at the top of the Eastern Conference totem pole.
That’s why I’d like to highlight three players in particular as players that could be doing a little more to be worth their cap hits. It’s also worth noting that with DeMar DeRozan and Patrick Williams due for extensions next summer, it’s absolutely vital to manage cap space effectively if the front office wishes to keep the core together.
I’m relieved to see the front office take steps to address some of the biggest weaknesses this summer, but these three players could become a glaring issue if they don’t start living up to their contracts soon.
The Chicago Bulls need these three players to start living up to their contracts.
3. Dalen Terry ($3.4 million)
It may seem a little silly to give the “overpaid” title to a player who only takes up 2.5% of his team’s available cap space, but hear me out here first. Although the raw total of his salary is relatively insignificant when compared to his peers, the opportunity cost of Dalen Terry‘s contract is non-negligible if he can’t crack the rotation.
Rookie deals are often the best contracts in the entire NBA, as they allow smaller markets to retain star talent at a very affordable rate for the first four years of their career before eventually hitting restricted free agency. If a rookie does not develop into a star (or even a serviceable bench player, for that matter), then their contract can quickly become a burden to the team.
At $3.4 million, Dalen is set to make more than Torrey Craig and Carlik Jones, and approximately the same amount as Andre Drummond, each of whom has proven to be far more effective when on the court. Make no mistake, Dalen is just getting started and has plenty of time to prove me wrong. But if he can’t crack the rotation in his sophomore season, then he’ll be nothing but a deadweight holding this team’s potential down.
Hopefully, Dalen’s 1.7 DBPM and +1.2 net rating are indicative of his potential to eventually become an impactful player and net positive.