Although the selection came as a surprise to many, there is a lot to like about Dalen Terry, who the Chicago Bulls plucked with the 18th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft Thursday night.
The length. The defensive tenacity. The ability to — in theory — play multiple positions.
But there are question marks embedded in Terry's profile as well, particularly at the offensive end. Late Thursday night, both Terry and Bulls general manager Marc Eversley were asked where the 19-year-old most needs to improve entering his rookie season, and their answers were similar.
"I believe I have to keep working on my off-the-dribble shooting," Terry told reporters when posed that question.
Added Eversley: "I think he's a pretty good shooter, but he probably needs to work on his shooting."
Indeed, while Terry flashed explosive athleticism as a fastbreak finisher and even some passing chops during his collegiate career at Arizona, his outside shot took longer to come around.
As a freshman, Terry shot 32.6 percent from the field and 61.4 percent from the free-throw line. As a sophomore, he bumped his 3-point percentage to 36.4 percent and his free-throw percentage to 73.6 percent, but both came on low volume (2.1 3-point attempts and 1.7 free-throw attempts per game).
The bright side is, after starting last season 5-for-21 from 3-point range (across 12 games), Terry shot 41.1 percent from distance in his final 25 appearances. He also appears more comfortable firing off the catch than the dribble, which aligns with his projected role with the Bulls.
Nevertheless, his comfort level as an outside shooter will be important to monitor during July's Summer League, which Eversley said Terry plans to attend.
"I just need to show it, honestly," Terry said of his pull-up shooting improvements. "All summer I've been working on it, but I can only tell you so much."
The Bulls, too, are already exuding confidence that their rookie boasts the drive to maximize his intriguing skill set.
"For him, we're not worried about whether he's gonna do the work or not," Eversley said. "He's just got the perfect makeup in terms of a kid who's gonna come in and do the things every single day to try to get better. And we're excited about that."