CHICAGO ( Associated Press) — The Chicago Bulls drafted Arizona guard Dylan Terry with number 18 on Thursday night, adding size and versatility on the backcourt as they reach the playoffs for the first time in five years, another step up try to lift.
The 6-foot-7, 195-pound Terry averaged 8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.2 steals as a sophomore in coach Tommy Lloyd’s first season. Possessing a wingspan of 7 feet, he can guard many places. And being on the offensive, he can turn the ball on or off.
Chicago did not have a second-round pick.
The Bulls advanced 46-36 and made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2017, with All-Stars DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine leading the way. Chicago got off to a great start and finished with their best ever record as the 2014–15 team went 50–32 in former coach Tom Thibodeau’s final season, though the way things turned out left a bitter taste.
The Bulls finished sixth from the Eastern Conference lead. They lost 15 of their final 22 regular-season games, then lost 4–1 to Milwaukee in their first playoff appearance since 2017.
Arturas Karnisova, executive vice president of basketball operations, has been aggressive in rebuilding the team since he was kicked out of the Denver front office two years ago, having acquired Derozan, Nikola Vusevic, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso. He also drafted Ayo Dosunmu and brought on coach Billy Donovan.
But Chicago was hit hard by injuries last season and struggled against the best of the NBA. The Bulls were tied 2–21 against the top four teams in each conference.
They also have a major issue, with LaVine planning to test the market as an unrestricted free agent.
The high-flying guard is in line for a huge payday after making his second straight All-Star team. But he was also in and out of the lineup due to injuries, including a problem in his left knee, which led to arthroscopic surgery a month earlier.
The Bulls may offer a five-year deal worth around $212 million. He can get around $157 million from any other team over a maximum of four years.
LaVine was far from the only Chicago player to lose time last season.
Ball sat out for the last 3 1/2 months after surgery for a torn meniscus. Forward Patrick Williams, the number 4 pick in 2020, missed most of the season due to torn ligaments in his left wrist. And in January Caruso was sidelined for seven weeks due to a broken wrist following a hard foul by Bucks Grayson Allen during a game in Milwaukee.
Injuries made it difficult for the Bulls to develop consistency to compete with the best of the NBA, a point Karnisova and the player went home after the season ended.