Restricted free agents with CAA connections: Denzel Valentine
It’s been a tale of different journeys for Denzel Valentine as a Chicago Bull. He played 57 games as a rookie learning from the veterans in Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, & Jimmy Butler. After the three vets exited in the summer of 2017, the Bulls commenced their rebuild. Valentine had a solid sophomore campaign, but missed the entirety of the 2018-19 season due to a left ankle stabilization procedure.
By the beginning of the 2019-20 season, his coach Fred Hoiberg was long gone and Jim Boylen was the full-time head coach. For some strange reason, Boylen decided not to play Valentine much. Valentine, in return, did not have a glowing endorsement for Boylen either, stating, “He’s been our coach all year, so hey, whatever happens to him is what happens. But for now he’s our coach. It is what it is.’’
Valentine’s time as a Bull is nearing its end. It’s been evident that the league hasn’t seen a clear picture of what the 6-foot-4 wing can do. In his sophomore season, he averaged 10.2 points/game, 1.9 threes/game on 39% from three, 5.1 rebounds/game, and 3.2 assists/game. Those are more that solid stats for a role player. Valentine can clearly cement a role as a wing player who can do a little bit of everything on both ends of the floor.
At 27 years old, Valentine isn’t a spring chicken. However, the Knicks can certainly benefit from surrounding the young core with players who can do the right thing when they’re on the floor. Valentine’s certainly an option worth pondering if he’s not too expensive.