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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 mandatory stop at the Bean earlier this week — the rookie 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.”

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Polarizing Ex-Bulls Pivot Returning to the Windy City for Pro-Am

Getty Chicago Bulls big man Cristiano Felicio is defended by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist during a game against the Charlotte Hornets.

As we move into what are truly the dog days of the NBA calendar, it’s getting harder and harder for Chicago Bulls fans to get their hoops fix. Thankfully, there are pro-am competitions taking place around the country to tide us over until teams reconvene for training camps.

For their part, Bulls star DeMar DeRozan, former No. 4 pick Patrick Williams and incoming rookie Dalen Terry could all be seen rocking the Drew over the weekend.

One needn’t travel to South Central LA to see pro ballers — including past and present members of the Bulls family — in action, though. The real ones in the Windy City can tell you that the Denard Bros Pro Runs is the spot to be for pro-am action.

To that end, a former longtime member of the Bulls will be making his way to Chicago’s Bishop Shepard Little Memorial Center this Thursday to get in on the games, per Daniel Greenberg. Specifically, infamous big man Cristiano Felicio.

Finding His Spot Play
Speaking Portuguese with Cristiano FelicioWatch as the Bulls players try to speak Portuguese with Cristiano Felicio.2018-03-24T00:39:37Z

Although not every member of Bulls Nation gets soft, fuzzy feelings when recalling his time in town (more on that later), there’s no doubting Felicio’s status as a Windy City mainstay. After going undrafted out of Brazil in 2014, he parlayed runs in summer league and the G League into a pair of multi-year deals with the Bulls.

By the end of his tenure with the team, he had made 252 appearances over parts of six seasons, averaging 4.3 points and 3.9 boards in 14.1 minutes per game. Along the way, he connected on 57.2% of his field-goal attempts.

At the conclusion of his last contract in 2021, though, Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley left Felicio to find a new hardwood home elsewhere. He ultimately landed with Ulm of the German BBL, with whom he has reestablished himself as a workhorse down low.

In 32 games as a starter across all competitions in 2021-22, the 30-year-old averaged 11.5 points and 8.3 boards while shooting 60.3% from the floor for Ulm.

More recently, he was included in the Brazilian national team’s player pool for the next round of qualifiers for the 2023 FIBA World Cup of Basketball.

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Felicio’s Contract Was an Anchor

While he undoubtedly earned some fans during his lengthy stay in Chicago, Felicio’s contract became a symbol of the failures of the Gar Forman-John Paxson era of Bulls decision-making. Despite his limited skill set for a modern NBA big man, Chicago’s previous regime saw fit to give him a four-year, $32 million deal back in 2017.

By all accounts, he was a hard worker and a good teammate, but that deal was a major obstacle for the Bulls in their attempt to provide Zach LaVine with the support he so desperately needed to get the team back into the playoffs. And several fans saw fit to point as much out in response to Greenberg’s pro-am report.

“Worst center in Bulls history,” commented one fan.

“Delete this. Dude robbed the franchise in plain daylight,” responded another.

Then there was this incredible breakdown:

“Cristiano Felicio made $32,889,948 over 6 seasons with the Bulls. In regular season he appeared in 252 games, started 20, for 3554 total minutes. In playoffs appeared in 6, started 0 for 82 minutes. He made $9,045.6 for every minute he appeared on court for the Bulls.”

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