Dalen Terry

Bulls Notes: Inconsistency, LaVine, Westbrook, Terry, Caruso

The Bulls will have some time to reflect on what has gone wrong so far this season during the next week, as they enter the All-Star break on a six-game losing streak that dropped their record on the season to 26-33.

Making the playoffs is still the goal for the team, according to Zach LaVine, who said after Thursday’s loss to Milwaukee that the Bulls “have to stop beating ourselves” and need to establish some consistency the rest of the way, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

“Something isn’t working, obviously,” LaVine said. “Some games we’re really good. Some games we’re bad. Once again, it’s that consistency factor of figuring out what our identity is and what we’re going to be each game.

“Even if guys are in and out of the lineup, you see some teams that have consistency with what they do. They have an identity. That’s something we’re still trying to figure out in these last couple years. We changed our offense a little bit this year from last year. But it’s no excuse with the type of talent that we have on the team.”

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • LaVine hasn’t gone out of his way to recruit Russell Westbrook – like Clippers forward Paul George did – but when he was asked this week about Westbrook joining the Bulls, LaVine said he’d welcome the opportunity to team up with the former MVP, per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. “Russ is a future Hall of Famer, man,” LaVine said. “I think you can only respect what he’s done in this league. If he so happens to come on the team, we welcome him with open arms. If he’s not, you compete against him. He’s a fierce competitor. You can do nothing but respect that.”
  • With five players, including star forward DeMar DeRozan, out due to injuries this week, rookie wing Dalen Terry logged 15 minutes on Wednesday and 27 minutes on Thursday — those were the first two times this season that he has played more than 10 minutes in a game. However, it’s unclear whether Terry will stick in Chicago’s rotation once DeRozan and others are back. “I’ve got to see what we look like health-wise,” Donovan said, according to K.C. Johnson. “With our roster, somebody is going to have to sit. I’m not saying that Dalen is the one who is going to be sitting. But somebody is going to have to.”
  • Although team success is Alex Caruso‘s top priority, he admitted to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype that it would be “really cool” to earn an All-Defensive nod. “I was a big fan of Kevin Garnett, the Pistons teams with Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace, and guys like Tony Allen, and other guys that people don’t maybe remember as well like Bruce Bowen and Raja Bell,” Caruso said. “Watching a bunch of people play over the years, I could tell there was an impact to be had on that side of the ball and something that came naturally to me.”

Central Notes: Green, Terry, Middleton, Haliburton

Bulls forward Javonte Green underwent a right knee scope on Wednesday, and Chicago reportedly expects him to return in around a month. After that news broke, head coach Billy Donovan explained why the team and Green opted for surgery, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times.

“He obviously had that bone bruise, which was causing him some problems,’’ Donovan said. “He did swell from it. Medical guys thought that this was something that could be managed if we backed off of him. They had a bunch of different therapies that they could try to do. They did that, and there really wasn’t much progress after a week.

“Given Javonte’s options with where we’re at in the season … obviously it was Javonte’s decision to do it, but I didn’t think from what I got from medical, and even what I got from Javonte, that there was a lot of progress with the interaction of just resting him,” Donovan continued.

Green is on the second year of a two-season, $3.5MM contract he signed with the Bulls, and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The 6’5″ vet has emerged as a tenacious, if undersized, defender, mostly playing small forward and power forward.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Rookie Bulls wing Dalen Terry is not currently in the rotation, even with the team missing key swingmen like DeMar DeRozan and Green. He is hoping to carve out rotation minutes at some point this season, Cowley writes in a separate piece. “I’m definitely anxious to get playing time,’’ Terry said. “With the position I’m in right now, it’s just like you’ve gotta embrace it, but you can’t ever get comfortable. I can’t get comfortable with learning every day and not playing. I just have to find that balance.’’
  • Bucks All-Star small forward Khris Middleton practiced with Milwaukee on Tuesday and was involved in the club’s subsequent shootaround Wednesday, but will require more practice reps before he can make his return to the floor, writes Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He continues to try to progress from the knee soreness that has kept him shelved since December 15. “It’s the next ramp-up step in returning to playing,” Middleton said. “It went well. Really, no swelling that came back yesterday, feel pretty good today. I know people get frustrated, but it’s like a day-by-day thing where I have to put myself through these various steps and have to sustain it for a lot of time in order to be back playing without pain or swelling.”
  • Pacers star point guard Tyrese Haliburton suffered a left elbow sprain and left knee bone contusion, and is set to miss at least the next two weeks before he is reassessed. Bob Kravitz of The Athletic writes that the team seems to have found a long-term keeper in Haliburton, a player who might actually love Indiana back for once, much like Hall of Fame shooting guard Reggie Miller, who spent all of his 18 NBA seasons trying to bring a title to the Pacers.

Central Notes: Cunningham, Caruso, Green, Terry, Hield, Haliburton

Pistons general manager Troy Weaver said that Cade Cunningham was resistant to having season-ending surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left shin, according to Mike Curtis of the Detroit News (subscription required). Cunningham hoped that a few weeks of rest would allow him to get back on the court, but he ultimately chose to undergo the procedure this week.

“No player wants to sit out,” the Pistons GM said. “He’s a highly-competitive young player and he wants to play and he wants to be a part of the group. Of course, this is a tough deal for him to have to sit down and get this taken care of.”

The Pistons’ rebuilding timeline won’t be affected by Cunningham’s injury, Weaver insists: “Injuries are a part of it, but it doesn’t change anything. It changes for Cade, but not for what we are trying to accomplish. We’re trying to continue to grow the program and compete every night. … We’re still going full blast ahead.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Alex Caruso and Javonte Green were inserted into the Bulls‘ starting lineup in place of Ayo Dosunmu and Patrick Williams a couple of weeks ago. That lineup only lasted one game before minor injuries to Caruso and Green led to more adjustments. Caruso and Green could be back in the lineup again when the Bulls host the Knicks on Wednesday, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
  • Bulls rookie Dalen Terry isn’t ready to be a rotation piece, coach Billy Donovan told Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Terry has spent a majority of the last two months with the G League Windy City Bulls. “If you’re throwing him in the rotation you’re having to sit somebody else,” Donovan said of the 18th overall pick. “And right now, clearly, I don’t think he’s at the level of some of our guys. “
  • Pacers guards Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield have formed a strong bond and are constantly putting each other down in joking fashion. Their relationship has helped bring the entire team closer, Oshae Brissett told Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star. “All the time,” Brissett said. “Practice, on the plane, lunch, dinner, they’re always like that. But it’s all love. Brotherly love. If those two are like that, it brings the team together and everyone else has to follow.”

Central Notes: B. Lopez, LeVert, Hayes, Bulls

Bucks center Brook Lopez is in the final year of his contract, which pays him $13.9MM in 2022/23. He could become a free agent this summer, but don’t expect him to land with a new team anytime soon.

I think there’s a lot of motivation for both sides, both Brook Lopez and the Bucks, either to get an extension done during the season, or to sign a new deal in the offseason,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on NBA Countdown (video link). “Milwaukee wants Brook Lopez to finish his career there. He has loved playing there.”

In addition to leading the NBA in blocked shots per game (2.9), Lopez is also averaging 15.5 points and 5.8 rebounds with an excellent .502/.402/.800 shooting slash line through 20 games (31.1 minutes per night). He was limited to just 13 regular season games in ’21/22 due to a herniated disc which required surgery, but the 34-year-old certainly looks fully healthy again.

Here’s more from the Central:

  • Like Lopez, Cavaliers wing Caris LeVert is also on an expiring contract ($18.8MM). Kelsey Russo of The Athletic takes an in-depth look at LeVert’s role with the Cavs, which has already changed multiple times about a quarter of the way through the season. The 28-year-old says it was his idea to become a reserve after opening the year as the starting small forward, and while it’s been challenging when combined with recovering from an ankle sprain, he says he’s doing it for the betterment of the team. “It’s a little difficult,” LeVert said. “But I’m someone who focuses on winning. I’ve made that the most important thing. It is what it is, especially when you talk about being in the NBA and being on a really good team. It takes sacrifice. I think a lot of people don’t really realize that when you’re talking about being a part of a special group. Everybody has to sacrifice a little bit. For me, that’s just what it is this season.”
  • As the No. 7 overall pick in the 2020 draft, Killian Hayes faced high expectations entering the NBA. The Pistons guard has mostly struggled offensively during his first three seasons, but he’s played better of late starting in place of the injured Cade Cunningham, and Detroit’s patience with Hayes appears to be paying off, according to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Since he entered the starting lineup, Hayes is averaging 11.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.4 steals on .442/.400/.889 shooting in 11 games (29.5 MPG).
  • How can the 9-12 Bulls turn their season around? Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic tackles that topic, suggesting that more minutes for rookie first-rounder Dalen Terry would be a good place to start — he has only appeared in 10 games for a total of 33 minutes thus far in ’22/23.

Bulls Notes: Terry, Donovan, White, Slow Start

First-round pick Dalen Terry has made only eight cameo appearances for the Bulls this season. He was grateful to get a G League assignment with the Windy City Bulls, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes.

Terry got a chance to play extensive minutes in two games over the weekend before being recalled.

“It was a great experience. It felt good to go against somebody besides the imagination in my head,” Terry said. “There’s no better way to get back into game shape than going down and playing some games.”

We have more on the Bulls:

  • The Nuggets jumped all over Chicago on Sunday, grabbing a 62-47 halftime lead en route to a 23-point victory. Bulls coach Billy Donovan called the first-half performance inexcusable, according to Annie Costabile of the Chicago Sun Times. ‘‘We had three days in terms of no games, so we should have been an extremely fresh basketball team,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘There’s always some form of adversity that hits the game, and we have to be better at thriving in that.’’
  • Coby White has missed the last seven games due to a quad injury and he didn’t practice on Monday. It’s unlikely he’ll practice on Tuesday either, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago tweets.
  • The Bulls are off to a slow start mainly because executive VP of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas chose a path of continuity with a roster full of players with significant injury histories, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times opines.

Bulls Notes: Terry, LaVine, White, Drummond

Bulls first-round pick Dalen Terry hasn’t been part of the team’s regular rotation so far this season, logging just 22 total minutes in seven appearances. As Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times writes, Terry initially struggled to adjust to finding himself so far down the depth chart, but has been trying to make the most of the opportunity to learn from the more seasoned NBA veterans playing ahead of him.

“It was pretty hard at first because all my life I’ve always played big minutes and been a big contributor on the team,” Terry said. “It kind of reminds me of my freshman year in college where I started half the year, then I went to coming off the bench. It was kind of hard on me. ‘Lately, I’ve been just trying to keep a positive edge and know that I get to watch all these games, be around these guys — the vets — and learn from everybody on the team. Just waiting my turn.”

According to Cowley, Terry is staying ready, recognizing that head coach Billy Donovan could turn him anytime, especially if the team finds itself shorthanded due to injuries. The former Arizona standout intends to make the most of his playing time when he gets it.

“I know once I get my opportunity, I’m not going to give it up,” Terry said. “I’m not going to give it up because of the way I feel right now.”

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • Zach LaVine, returning from offseason knee surgery, has made it clear he’d like to be playing every game rather than periodically sitting due to injury management, tweets K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. The Bulls’ schedule, which doesn’t include another back-to-back set until December 10 and 11, should give him that opportunity in the coming weeks. “We’ve had a tough schedule to start off,” said LaVine, who sat out the season opener and then the first game of three separate back-to-backs. “Now we have a a day or two off between every game. I’m happy with that because you’ll see me in the lineup.”
  • With DeMar DeRozan facing intense defensive pressure on Monday vs. Toronto and scoring just nine points, LaVine and the Bulls’ supporting cast stepped up, as six players scored in double figures. Donovan believes that balanced attack is one the team should strive for going forward, Cowley writes for the Sun-Times. “My goal would be, can we have five to seven guys at the end of 82 games that are in double-figure scoring,” Donovan said.
  • There’s still no target return date for Coby White, who remains sidelined due to a deep thigh bruise, according to Cowley. However, Donovan believes there’s a decent chance that Andre Drummond could be available on Wednesday after missing the last six games with a sprained left shoulder.

Central Notes: LeVert, Pangos, LaVine, Terry, Bone

Cavaliers swingman Caris LeVert knows he has to play strong defense to win the starting small forward job, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. LeVert isn’t known as a strong defender, but it will be required of him due to the team’s defensive identity.

That’ll definitely be something I’m gonna have to lock in on. I have been locked in on it for the past couple of weeks, just knowing that I’m gonna have a big assignment every night on that end of the floor,” LeVert said following practice on Thursday afternoon. “It’s something I look forward to and it’s something I like doing.”

LeVert started Cleveland’s first preseason game, posting seven points (3-of-5 shooting) and three assists in 14 minutes against Philadelphia. Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff says he likes what he saw out of the 28-year-old, Fedor notes.

I think he’s a threat,” Bickerstaff said. “You watch the way that teams play him, and people respect him because of his ability to score. He didn’t get a lot of looks early, but that didn’t stop him from making unselfish moves and unselfish plays. I think he finished with like three assists and could have like five or six if guys would have made the shot. I think from that standpoint, offensively, he did a really good job of fitting in, and still we’re learning where he can find his moments to attack. Then defensively I thought he did a great job. I thought he was active. He was in the right spots. He put pressure on the offense.”

LeVert’s $18.8MM contract will expire at the end of the 2022/23 season, so he’ll be a free agent next summer unless he signs an extension.

Here’s more from the Central:

  • Even though he struggled in his first NBA foray after a long and very successful career in Europe, Kevin Pangos has nothing but good things to say about his time with the Cavaliers in ’21/22, writes Cesare Milanti of Eurohoops. “It was awesome, I really enjoyed it. I loved my time in Cleveland, the organization was great, and the team and players were awesome. I learned a ton. I’m happy to be here now this year and play for Milan,” Pangos said. The 29-year-old appeared in 24 games with Cleveland last season, averaging just 6.9 minutes per contest. He signed a two-year contract with Italian club Olimpia Milano as a free agent this offseason.
  • Bulls head coach Billy Donovan says he hasn’t noticed a change in Zach LaVine‘s behavior after he signed a five-year, $215MM contract as a free agent this summer, calling him “a really grounded guy,” according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. However, Donovan says LaVine’s knee injury limited him on defense last season, and says “there’s another level he needs to get to” on that end of the court, per Cowley.
  • Donovan likes Dalen Terry‘s energy and competitiveness, but he’s not sure if he’ll have a spot in the Bulls‘ rotation, Cowley adds in the same piece. Donovan didn’t hesitate to play rookie second-rounder Ayo Dosunmu last season, so he seems to be quite fair about allotting minutes based on merit rather using a prescribed rotation, so Terry, Chicago’s first-round pick this year, could have a chance at playing time if he performs well.
  • The Bucks‘ G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, recently acquired the returning player rights to Jordan Bone from the Delaware Blue Coats in exchange for the rights to Rayjon Tucker. Our JD Shaw was the first to break the news (via Twitter). The 57th pick of the 2019 draft, Bone played 24 NBA games on two-way deals with the Pistons and Magic from 2019-21. He spent last season in Spain and Turkey.

Eastern Notes: Mobley, Koloko, Raptors, Barrett, Terry

The Cavaliers announced on Monday that power forward Evan Mobley would miss one-to-two weeks due to a right ankle sprain. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff is confident that he’ll have Mobley back in action by opening night, according to Kelsey Russo of The Athletic.

“We’ll always be safe with our guys, but right now there isn’t a concern that he would miss the start of the season,” Bickerstaff said.

In the meantime, Bickerstaff will look at different combinations during the preseason.

“It gives other people an opportunity to play different spots, and get more minutes and more reps and allows us to get more things on film that we can kind of dissect,” he said.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Raptors went most of last season with a rotation of players no taller than 6’9”. That could change this season if 7’1” Christian Koloko can establish a rotation spot, Eric Koreen of The Athletic writes. Coach Nick Nurse wants Koloko to become a shot-blocking presence. “For me, he’s a shot blocker, first and foremost,” Nurse said. “I’ll use the same analogy as I used (about) getting to the rim: If you want to block shots, you better take some swings out there. And I want to up his number of swings he takes at the ball.”
  • The Raptors might have to take a small step back this season to set up a bigger step forward in 2024 or 2025, John Hollinger of The Athletic opines in his season preview. Hollinger forecasts a top-six finish in the Eastern Conference with the possibility of the Raptors advancing out of the first round but no further.
  • Knicks guard RJ Barrett received his lucrative rookie scale extension this offseason but still feels he doesn’t receive the same accolades as his peers, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “Besides the fans, which we do have a lot of fans, everybody else really doesn’t like us,” Barrett said. “Everybody else doesn’t like us. I mean, I don’t know. It’s weird. I’ve gotten respect, but at the same time, there’s a lot of disrespect. But that’s fine. All the guys that they want to put in front of me or whatever, I’m in their heads. So it really doesn’t matter.”
  • Bulls first-rounder Dalen Terry won’t mind going to the G League to develop his skills. He just wants to get playing time this season, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. “Do whatever I can do to stay on the floor,” Terry said.

Eastern Notes: Caruso, Williams, Davis, Pistons

Playing hard-charging Alex Caruso less might produce better results for the Bulls guard, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times writes, arguing that Caruso’s style lends itself to playing in shorter bursts. Rookie Dalen Terry, another high-energy defender, could take away a few of Caruso’s minutes and that actually might be a good thing.

Caruso averaged 7.4 PPG, 4.0 APG and 1.7 SPG in his first year with the Bulls while being limited to 41 games due to injuries. He’s entering the second year of his four-year, $37MM contract.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • A breakout season from power forward Patrick Williams could be the Bulls’ biggest hope for internal improvement, according to NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson. Williams missed most of last season due to a wrist injury. However, his skills could go a long way toward helping the Bulls fare better against the conference’s elite, Johnson notes, as he’ll often draw the opponent’s top player defensively.
  • Wizards lottery pick Johnny Davis will likely fight for minutes with last year’s first-round pick Corey Kispert, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Davis projects as a better defender than Kispert, but Kispert has the edge in experience and 3-point shooting. Becoming a better spot-up shooter will be pivotal for Davis to live up to his draft status, notes one of several scouts interviewed by Robbins to evaluate the rookie’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Not surprisingly, Cade Cunningham is the most valuable asset the Pistons possess, The Athletic’s James Edwards III writes. However, their second-most valuable asset isn’t a player currently on their roster but rather their draft pick next year, since Detroit is expected to be in the lottery again. Edwards ranks the team’s top 10 assets, with rookie guard Jaden Ivey coming in third.

Central Notes: Ivey, Pistons Roster, Agbaji, Bulls

After injuring his ankle against the Wizards last weekend in an eventual 105-99 win, Pistons lottery pick Jaden Ivey was held out for the rest of Detroit’s Summer League action. Head coach Dwane Casey clarified that Ivey’s absence was precautionary, per Mike Curtis of the Detroit News.

[Ivey’s] OK, just a good turned ankle and he bounced back like a trooper,” Casey said. “He wanted to play, but the medical staff held him out.”

The 20-year-old was selected by Detroit in this year’s draft with the fifth pick after a stellar showing at Purdue. During his second and final college season in 2021/22, Ivey averaged 17.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.1 APG, and 0.9 SPG. He was named to the All-Big Ten First Team, and the All-American Second Team for his efforts.

Despite playing just five quarters of Summer League basketball, the 6’4″ shooting guard averaged 15.0 PPG, 4.0 APG and 3.0 RPG in Las Vegas while shooting 50% from beyond the arc.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • With the Pistons’ five-game Summer League run in the rear view, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic examines the club’s personnel heading into training camp. Though the team currently has 15 guaranteed deals on its main roster and both two-way slots filled, Edwards notes that, with $8-10MM in unused cap space, Detroit’s front office could look to make further adjustments to the team. Edwards projects depth charts for the roster as currently comprised, noting that only point guard Cade Cunningham and power forward Saddiq Bey appear guaranteed to start on opening night.
  • Cavaliers rookie shooting guard Ochai Agbaji, selected with the No. 14 pick out of reigning NCAA champion Kansas this year, appears to be headed for a rotation role, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Agbaji could be used to bolster Cleveland’s long-range shooting as an off-ball option. “We know how great of a shooter he is and how good he is running off screens,” said Summer League head coach Mike Gerrity, who serves as a player development coach in the regular season under head coach J.B. Bickerstaff. “I imagine that is going to be a way that J.B. is going to utilize him come the regular season.”
  • Prior to an unfortunate (minor) right hamstring injury, Bulls rookie first-round pick Dalen Terry was rounding into form as a promising finisher and versatile defender who could contribute to Chicago’s rotation in the fall, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Johnson adds that second-year center Marko Simonovic had an uneven second Summer League and voices skepticism about Simonovic’s ability to crack Chicago’s center rotation behind starter Nikola Vucevic and new backup Andre Drummond. Johnson also floats Summer League Chicago reserve center Makur Maker as a potential fit for Chicago’s open two-way player slot next to undrafted rookie Justin Lewis.