With the 14th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls selected Denzel Valentine, according to Sports Illustrated. The 22-year-old small forward was considered one of the best players coming out of the college ranks. The Bulls are hoping he continues to play at a high level and will be able to help take the load off of Jimmy Butler.
The Chicago Bulls have already made a big splash this offseason by trading away former MVP Derrick Rose. Coming into the draft, the Bulls were looking to pick up a starting-caliber guard to play alongside Butler. They did just that by selecting Denzel Valentine.
The former Michigan State Spartans star had one of his best seasons during his senior year. Denzel put up career highs in almost every category, raising his draft stock tremendously in his last year in college. Valentine went from being potentially undrafted to being seen as a potential lottery pick.
Valentine became only the fourth player in the history of Michigan State to record a triple double. The other players who were able to accomplish that were Charlie Bell, Draymond Green and Magic Johnson, good company with which to be associated.
Chad Ford of ESPN considered Denzel Valentine to be one of the most the versatile players entering the NBA Draft. Ford called him a point guard in the body of a small forward. Valentine has a very high basketball IQ and can score from anywhere on the court.
Denzel has been compared to Danny Green of the San Antonio Spurs. That is a very good comparison because Green is one of the better 3-and-D players in the NBA. Many people believe Valentine is an all-around player and one of his best attributes is passing.
Coming into the draft, there were concerns about Valentine’s right knee. Specifically, some were worried his knee wouldn’t be able to hold up; Denzel played 144 of the 148 possible games in his four years at Michigan State.
Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman believes that Denzel Valentine will be an impact player for the team right away. Forman said that Valentine is a good fit for the Bulls on many different levels.
Many people believe that Valentine’s offensive skill sets will be very useful for the Chicago Bulls next season. He shot 46 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc. Offensively, Valentine can play up to three positions. He can create offense for his teammates. Valentine can also make an impact playing off the ball.
Denzel can also defend multiple positions. He and Jimmy Butler could form a very formidable defensive combination in the NBA. Butler can defend up to three positions and both guys are smart players.
It will interesting to see how Fred Hoiberg uses Denzel Valentine. Currently, the Chicago Bulls roster is lacking depth at the point guard position. At the end of last season, Hoiberg tested out playing Jimmy Butler at the point guard position.
With the addition of Denzel Valentine, the Chicago Bulls don’t need to focus on signing wings during free agency. The Bulls’ main priority will be signing a point guard; that way, Jimmy Butler doesn’t have to be main play-maker for the team.
The NBA Draft is a gamble. You will never know who would be a star or a bust. From the looks of things, the Chicago Bulls looked like they got a valuable player to help them right away. Denzel Valentine has all the skills to be a good player for the next several years.
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