Bulls rookie Dalen Terry poised to make sure he plays next season

Terry has spent a lot of time on the bench this season, and his main focus is making sure he “ain’t going through this again.”

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Dalen Terry

It’s been a rough year for Dalen Terry from a playing time standpoint, and the rookie vowed on Sunday that he “ain’t going through this again” next season.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Bulls rookie Dalen Terry wasn’t much concerned about making sure he was saying the right things Sunday.

It was well past that point of the season.

Half-frustrated, half-determined, Terry’s focus was on making sure that what he has gone through this season won’t be his fate heading into next season.

‘‘I just know I ain’t going through this again,’’ Terry said.

That’s why Terry, whom the Bulls drafted 18th overall last summer, said he told the team he intended to play Summer League ball in Las Vegas for a second offseason, as well as doing anything else they needed him to do.

‘‘I just want the chance to do whatever I need to do to get on the court next year,’’ Terry said. ‘‘So just the part of my development, what does everybody want to see from me, as well as the expectations I have in myself? I know I want to come back a different player.’’

Asked specifically about the parts of his game he thought he needed to work on to become a rotation guy rather than a fixture on the bench, Terry tried to be honest in his self-evaluation.

‘‘I don’t believe I’m the perfect player or anything like that,’’ Terry said. ‘‘I feel like I’ve grown in a lot of different aspects. But, in time, I have to play and get some reps, just to see a little bit more.

‘‘Shooting has always been the biggest area that people want me to grow in, and I feel like I took some strides. If I keep making those strides, I feel like it will be one more thing with a checked box that they say I can’t do. Just keep inching away at that this summer and prove why I should be on the court.’’

But it’s his shot that might be the issue, particularly the fundamentals of it. Terry has a hitch in the way he twists his wrist as he’s releasing the ball.

To be fair, there are plenty of NBA players whose shot isn’t aesthetically pleasing. But they might have the numbers to ease those concerns; Terry doesn’t.

In his two seasons in college at Arizona, he shot 32.6% and 36.4% from three-point range. In limited playing time this season (34 games), Terry is 6-for-19 (31.6%) from three-point range.

‘‘I feel like if that [expletive] goes in, it goes in,’’ Terry said of the way his shot looks. ‘‘The way I shoot it has always been comfortable my whole life, and I’ve had moments where I’ve shot really, really good. I’ve had times where I’ve shot bad. It’s more of finding the way that I can keep it consistent and knock it down 40% of the time.’’

That’s why Terry might want to have a heart-to-heart talk with injured guard Lonzo Ball. Ball came into the league with a funky-looking delivery on his shot and made only 30.5% of his three-pointers as a rookie. He eventually changed his mechanics and was a 42.3% shooter from long range last season before getting hurt.

Back-to-back issues

The Bulls have only one more back-to-back this season — Tuesday against the Hawks and Wednesday at the Bucks — but it might be tricky to navigate, given some players are dealing with bumps and bruises.

‘‘After the Atlanta game, there will be a very big discussion with [the] medical [team] and those guys to see how they’re feeling,’’ coach Billy Donovan said. ‘‘But we haven’t predetermined, ‘Listen, we get to this back-to-back, this is what we’re doing.’ I think it’s going to be more of those guys obviously being involved in the decision, as well.’’

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