By: Brennen McMann
Denzel Valentine the 14th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. Bulls fans (my self included) we’re pretty excited about the pick at the time. The Bulls were getting the big ten player of the year, AP player of the year, and consensus first team all American. But since then, Valentine has been a very inconsistent player. He has flashes followed up by poor performances. He never seems to string games together and that could hurt his future with the team.
The 6’6, 215 pound guard can do a little bit of everything, one reason the Bulls selected hi. His future in the league is trending to being a bench player,something most lottery picks do not amount to.
The Bulls have a lot of young talent with two potential lottery picks and lots of cap space the next two years. They will completely restock their starting 5 and fill out there team with some very solid players.
Of course we can be disappointed with Valentine’s game and how he has come developed, but this kid has a future as a solid rotational player in my opinion.
When you rest your starters, you want the bench players to keep up tempo, play solid defense and move the ball around on offense. Valentine does just that and does a solid job at it. He’s a good teammate who hustles his rear end off and a player the organization values. This season, Valentine is averaging 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Not a bad stat line for a bench player. He gets the job done and will keep up the tempo. As of the last couple games, he’s been doing better offensively as well. In Monday night’s loss to the Celtics, he tied his career high with 20 points and was praised by Fred Hoiberg for his leadership.
The Bulls are in complete tank mode which is good for a couple reasons. First, fans hoping for a top 5 pick in a loaded draft class. Second, the Bulls will be playing a lot of the younger players in there organization to see what they have and to develop them for future seasons. Valentine will be seeing a lot more playing time to end the season. He started off with a bang last night, but let’s see if he can continue his solid play Wednesday against Memphis and for the rest the season. The key word for Valentine is consistency.