Denzel Valentine
Denzel Valentine
25-Year-Old GuardG
Chicago Bulls
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Valentine missed the entire 2018-19 season, which would have been his third, after undergoing reconstructive left ankle surgery last November. Coming off an unimpressive rookie campaign in which he managed averages of 5.1 points (35.4 FG%, 35.1 3P%, 77.8 FT%), 2.6 rebounds, 1.3 threes, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.1 blocks in 17.1 minutes across 57 appearances in 2016-17, Valentine improved in virtually every statistical category in 2017-18. In fact, he contributed twice as many points (10.2), nearly twice as many boards (5.1) and almost three times as many dimes (3.2) per game. His full line of 10.2 points (41.7 FG%, 38.6 3P%, 74.5 FT%), 5.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.9 threes, 0.8 steals and 0.1 blocks in 27.2 minutes across 77 games and 37 starts speaks to his well-rounded and versatile skillset. Perhaps the biggest leap he made was as a playmaker, as Valentine went from handing out 1.1 dimes versus 0.9 turnovers as a rookie to 3.2 dimes versus 1.3 giveaways as a sophomore. There will be plenty of competition for playing time at just about every position on a Bulls roster that's suddenly pretty deep, plus Valentine will likely be working his way back into the flow of things after an extremely lengthy injury absence. However, one positive indicator in Valentine's favor is he has the size (6-6) and ability to survive at several positions. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $4.28 million contract with the Bulls in July of 2016. Bulls exercised $2.28 million team option for 2018-19 in October of 2017. Bulls exercised $3.38 million team option for 2019-20 in October of 2018.
Struggles from the field Friday
GChicago Bulls
October 12, 2019
Valentine had just three points (1-9 FG, 1-5 3Pt), five rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes during Friday's 105-87 preseason loss to Indiana.
Valentine continues to work his way back from injury, hitting just 1-of-9 from the field in Friday's loss. The Bulls were without a number of key players meaning the fringe guys saw additional run. Valentine has never really touched standard leagues and it would appear unlikely anything is going to change moving forward.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The 14th overall pick in 2016, Valentine drew starts (37) for the first time in his career last season and saw 27.2 minutes per tilt. In that time, the Michigan State product averaged 10.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists. He was also a reliable from beyond the arc, drilling 1.9 threes per game at 38.6 percent. Though still struggling with consistency, Valentine managed to secure five double-doubles and even registered a 30-point game. However, his path to playing time is tougher this season, as the Bulls re-signed Zach LaVine, added Jabari Parker through free agency, and retained Justin Holiday. That said, if any wing player on the Bulls goes down with injury, Valentine is seemingly first in line to garner extended run. So, while he can be avoided in most Fantasy formats come draft day, keeping tabs on him through the waiver wire could pay off.
Selected with the 14th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Valentine played a relatively small role off the bench as a rookie and was limited to just 57 games because of a few recurring ankle injuries. He averaged 17.1 minutes for the entire season, though there was a 16-game stretch from early March through early April where he saw 26.4 minutes per game in extended run off the bench. Still Valentine's role eventually declined as the season wound down and he finished with averages of just 5.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.3 three-pointers, while shooting 35.4 percent from the field and 35.1 percent from deep. Valentine should be looking at a slightly larger role going into the 2017-18 season. The Bulls traded away superstar Jimmy Butler and there's been rumors of a potential buyout with Dwyane Wade as well. That means Valentine will likely be battling with Justin Holiday and Paul Zipser for minutes at both shooting guard and small forward. Look for Valentine to see more playing time in the Bulls' rebuild attempt, especially considering he's just 23 years old, so he shouldn't have trouble surpassing the 17.1 he averaged as a rookie.
Valentine capped a stellar four-year career at Michigan State by averaging 19.2 points, 7.8 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game as a senior. The All-American was selected with the 14th overall pick in the draft under the pretense that he'd be able to step in as an immediate contributor in the Bulls' backcourt. While Valentine will surely be a rotational player as a rookie, the arrivals of Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade mean his role will be smaller than initially anticipated. Valentine's ability to play both on and off the ball is valuable, but the minutes totals for both Rondo and Wade are likely to be large enough to prevent Valentine from holding substantial fantasy value as a rookie. It also remains to be seen how Valentine will adjust to the pro game. His all-around production at the college level is what made him such an intriguing prospect, but he'll no longer play in an offense completely tailored around his playmaking. Valentine is a strong enough shooter (he hit 44.4% of his attempts from downtown last season) to survive, but his assist numbers, especially, could drop off significantly as he spends more time working as a secondary guard.
More Fantasy News
Ready for training camp
GChicago Bulls
September 30, 2019
Valentine (ankle) is "ready to go" for training camp, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago reports.
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Still not cleared for 5-on-5
GChicago Bulls
July 22, 2019
Valentine (ankle) remains limited as he recovers from a November procedure on his left ankle, The Athletic reports.
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Missing rest of season
GChicago Bulls
November 28, 2018
Valentine underwent a left ankle stabilization procedure Tuesday and will be out for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.
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Surgery planned for Tuesday
GChicago Bulls
November 27, 2018
Valentine is scheduled to undergo reconstructive left ankle surgery Tuesday in Green Bay, Wis., K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports.
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Out 4-to-6 months following surgery
GChicago Bulls
November 19, 2018
Valentine is scheduled to undergo reconstructive ankle surgery and will miss the next four-to-six months as a result.
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