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Rookie Dalen Terry ended his first official practice as a Chicago Bull with a show of support from teammate Patrick Williams.
Williams picked out the Bulls rookie as the top competitor of the practice, highlighting Terry’s energy on his first day scrimmaging against his new teammates as he prepares for the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas next week. The Bulls selected Terry with the 18th pick of the draft last month.
“It gave me a little bit more confidence,” Terry said. “He was here last year, he’s been through what I’ve been through. So for him to do that is definitely a nod and respect, and I appreciate him for saying that.”
Williams, the Bulls’ pick at No. 4 in 2020, provided an immediate challenge for Terry, who is relishing the chance to face off against professional players in his first days at the Advocate Center.
Bulls Summer League coach John Bryant said the two had a fair amount of friendly trash talk in their limited matchups on the first day of practice.
“He’s been in the league, so I give him his respect,” Terry said of Williams. “But I’m going to compete. I ain’t backing down now.”
Williams and Ayo Dosunmu won’t play in Las Vegas this year, but both players will train with the full Vegas roster this week to prepare for the preseason.
Bryant said the Bulls want Dosunmu and Williams to spend the remainder of the offseason focused on scrimmaging against top-caliber competition.
“That’s why they’re here this week,” Bryant said. “There’s a lot of individual development, but they need to get game reps daily against NBA and fringe NBA players. So that alone in our building, in front of our coaching staff and coach (Billy) Donovan, they’re going to improve.”
Although Terry has been enjoying the Chicago summer since he was drafted June 23 — making a stop at the Bean earlier this week — he spent most of his time working out. Bryant said he spotted Terry in the gym at least three times a day since he arrived in Chicago.
Terry wants to improve his shooting — among other things — as a rookie. He likened his growth to building up a player in the video game NBA 2K — right now, he sees his stats as 75s, with a goal of improving to 99s across the board.
“I’m good at some things, but I’m not great at nothing,” Terry said. “I’m trying to be great at everything.”
Marko Simonović bulks up
Second-year center Marko Simonović put on a noticeable amount of mass in the offseason, a growth the Bulls are hoping will help the 2021 second-round pick make the jump to the first-team roster this season.
“His shoulders look like a grown man,” Bryant said of Simonović, 22. “He’s obviously been working. He’s obviously been doing something. He’s eating at least.”
As one of the main big-man coaches on the Bulls staff, Bryant logged daily sessions with Simonović throughout his rookie season. Bryant noted physicality as a key improvement necessary for Simonović to move from the top scorer for the Windy City Bulls to a contributing player on the Bulls roster.
Putting on muscle is one thing. Translating that strength to the court will be the next step for Simonović.
“Every big needs to be able to finish in traffic, so every day, that’s a drill that we’ve worked on,” Bryant said. “I’m excited to see his development there. He needs to at least be able to take the contact and finish, so that’s one thing. But can he be a consistent rebounder? Does he have a really good touch? Can he shoot consistently? I think all of those things will be answered in the next few days.”