Terry wins ‘most competitive’ award in 1st Bulls training originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Chicago Bulls’ The Summer League team, led this year by assistant coach John Bryant, takes a direct approach to putting competitiveness into practice.
“We keep track of the ‘wins’ all week,” Bryant told reporters after his team’s first group session on Saturday. “Every drill we do, every game we do. And we’re going to see who wins after the week .”
Saturday culminated in Bryant naming Patrick Williams — who will not play in Summer League games, but along with Ayo Dosunmu, works with the team on weekends — named the group’s “most competitive” player of the day. .
The award went to Dalen Terry.
“That means everything. I appreciate Pat for doing that,” Terry said of the honour. “It gave me a little bit more confidence, actually, because he was here last year, he’s been through what I’ve been through. That he does that is certainly a wink and respect.”
Terry added that he and Williams had multiple encounters during practice and scrimmages. The rookie played diplomat when asked who got the best of those fights, but by all accounts he already lives up to his predraft billing as a fierce competitor.
“We guarded each other a bit,” Terry said. “He (Williams) has been in the league, so I give him his respect. But I’m going to compete. I’m not pulling back now.”
Terry and Bryant were both non-committal about role expectations or skill development for the 18th overall pick when the team travels to Las Vegas next week (the first game is Friday, July 8.).
But Bryant noted that Terry was at the Bulls facility three times on Friday alone to work with the team’s shooting coaches. In particular, Terry called out Player Development Coordinator Ty Abbott as someone he’s already worked closely with. Expect Terry to feature prominently on the team’s Summer League roster — and in a variety of ways.
“I’m very versatile,” Terry said of his role during scrimmages. “So I was all over the court. I brought it up, I bounced back, I got the ball out, put up screens. I can’t really give you the part. I did a lot.”
Here are some other notes from the first day of the Bulls’ Summer League training camp, which will run through Tuesday:
Bryant was quick to praise second-year big man Marko Simonović for the work he’s done on his body this off-season. And it is true. Even from the whole practice field, Simonović’s gains are noticeable compared to his more sinewy frame last season.
“He’s taller than me, and I’m proud to be a big, really fit man. His shoulders look like a grown man,” Bryant said of Simonović. “He’s clearly been working, he’s clearly been doing something — at least he’s been eating. But he looks great. That was something we asked him (to do this off-season) is real work on his body.”
Last season was Simonović’s first with the Bulls after being drafted into the second round of the 2020 draw and locked up abroad for a year. Though he nearly scored a double-double (17 points, 9.8 rebounds) for the team’s G League partner, he failed to register a single non-garbage time minute for the Big-league Bulls, even as they searched desperately for depth. in the attacking half.
All this means: much work still needs to be done before Simonović plays a role of any substance. But the hope is that building muscle and logging reps against professional competition will allow him to better navigate contested rebound and scoring opportunities around the basket — and generally match NBA physicality.
“He should at least be able to contact and finish. Can he be a consistent rebounder? He has a really good feeling. Can he shoot consistently? I think all these things will be answered in the next 17 days,” Bryant said of Simonović. “If I had to bet on him, I would. Because he obviously met us half way with his body.”
Early impressions of Justin Lewis
The Bulls filled one of their two-way slots shortly after the draft by bringing out Justin Lewis with Marquette. According to Bryant, his energy was palpable in the gym during workouts.
“That guy comes in every day with a lot of energy,” Bryant said. “The guy comes with a smile, he’s always in the gym. I probably had to kick him out of the gym, I forgot what night it was, I said, ‘Hey, we’ve got a long week and we haven’t started gaming yet.’ He’s just here and his energy is very contagious.”
Lewis measured 6-foot-7 with a 7-2 span at the combine and improved his scoring average (from 7.8 to 16.8 points per game) and 3-point percentage (from 21.9 to 34.9) between his freshman and sophomore season dramatically at Marquette. Bryant touted his potential versatility several times, especially as a multi-position defender.
Lewis is on a two-way contract and will play up to 50 regular season games with the Bulls next season. Still, he’s worth keeping an eye on in Vegas.
Bryant in the big chair
Bryant joined Billy Donovan’s staff for the 2020-21 season after a six-year stint in the 76ers organization. This, he said, is his first time leading a Summer League coaching staff.
“I’ve never talked so much in my life, so now I have to cough,” he burst out.
But he was sincere when asked what he hopes to get out of the opportunity.
“I want to empower others. This isn’t about me,” Bryant said. “I’ve been telling the staff and the team from day one that this isn’t about me. I know my name says head coach. But I’m here to make them stronger and I’m here to help the players improve.”
Windy City Bulls head coach Henry Domercant, assistant to head coach Paul Miller, and video coordinators Chris Kent and Billy Donovan III complement the rest of Bryant’s staff.
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