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Arizona’s Dalen Terry is a high-energy Swiss Army knife

Though Dalen Terry is just 19, the Arizona product’s versatility could be useful to the Sixers at pick 23.

Houston v Arizona Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The 2022 NBA Draft will be held on Thursday, June 23. Since the Nets decided to defer the pick owed to them as part of the James Harden trade, the Sixers will select 23rd overall. Ahead of the draft, we’ll look at several prospects that could fit the Sixers and be realistic possibilities at No. 23.

There’s a good chance Arizona’s Dalen Terry is available to the Sixers at No. 23 on draft night — and it’s hard to see how that’s possible.

Terry is a do-it-all guard/forward that won’t turn 20 until July. He was a four-star recruit coming out of high school and chose to go to Arizona despite the school’s self-imposed postseason ban. His numbers won’t blow you away (eight points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists per game), but his versatility, steady improvement, energy, and personality make him an intriguing prospect.

Strengths

Terry stands at 6-foot-7 with an impressive wingspan (nearly 7-1) and standing reach (8-10) — both marks in the top three among guards measured at the combine. We’ll call Terry a guard here because his skillset is more reflective of that. He played point guard in high school, but played more wing at Arizona.

What stands out most about Terry offensively is his feel for the game and his efficiency. He was second in the Pac-12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.84) and eighth in field-goal percentage (50.2). His playmaking at 6-7 is impressive. He has a legitimate chance to play point guard at the next level once he adjusts to the NBA game.

He was terrific in transition, using his strong rebounding ability from the wing to pull the ball off the rim and start the break. He was an explosive finisher in transition as the recipient of many lobs. He also finished several lobs with timely cuts in the half court.

The scoring output is low, but there are plenty of flashes of untapped potential in that area. Terry has nice touch on his floater and improved finishing through contact during his sophomore season. His shooting also saw a leap from his freshman year — both three-point (32.6 to 36.4) and free throw (61.4 to 73.6). The form, year-over-year improvement and reputation as a hard worker are encouraging signs.

We’ll call Terry a guard, but part of what separates him from other wings in this draft is his defensive versatility. Terry should comfortably be able to guard one through three at the next level, and maybe four depending on the matchup. He has the lateral quickness to hang with quicker guards, he has the instincts and toughness to navigate screens, and he uses his length to get into passing lanes and get deflections. He was named First Team All-Defense in the Pac-12. Terry can play NBA defense right now at 19 years old.

Weaknesses

Part of the reason Terry should be getting considered for a higher draft slot is that there aren’t a ton of weaknesses to his game. He can do a little bit of everything, but there are a couple things he’ll need to work on.

The biggest swing skill for most wing players is their shot. Terry is no different. The improvement is good to see, but he was still at just 36.4 percent on a low volume (2.1 attempts). He’s shown glimpses of being a decent pick-and-roll player, but an improved jumper off the bounce could change his trajectory completely.

While he didn’t turn the ball over much, there’s certainly room for Terry to grow as a ball handler. Most of his drives are of the straight line drive variety, so don’t expect to see him in iso situations breaking people down off the dribble — at least not right away. His ability to score could grow, but the reality is he only averaged eight points per game last season.

The height and length are excellent, but Terry weighed in at just 195 pounds at the combine. He’ll need to add strength in order to withstand the physicality of an 82-game NBA season.

Fit

In this range, there might not be a better fit for the Sixers than Terry.

He’s long, tough, physical, skilled, and has plenty of room to grow. For a team that mentioned mental and physical toughness as part of their downfall, Terry could inject some life into this team.

This kid hit on everything — I love the game ... you gotta be a dog ... just being a good teammate ... I’m a gym rat. It’s like he was playing Sixers draft target bingo here.

There is definitely a swagger and energy that Terry has that feels infectious. As he mentions in the clip above, he’s a tireless worker that can be found in the gym. The shot is the skill people worried about with Tyrese Maxey, who shot below 30 percent from three at Kentucky. He downplayed that number, knowing he’d be better. This past season, Maxey was over 42 percent from distance. I’d bet on Terry’s improvement to continue.

The scoring numbers weren’t great, but when you look at that Arizona team Terry played for, they had a lot of scoring already. He starred in his role. It’s easy to envision Terry fitting that 3-and-D mold for the Sixers as a young player before morphing into something more.

When you know what Daryl Morey has looked for in the past from potential draft picks, it sounds an awful lot like Terry.

When we talk about guys “ticking boxes,” I’m not sure there is one Terry doesn’t tick for the Sixers. If he’s there at 23, get that pick in in a hurry.

But don’t listen to me. Take it from the man himself: