3. Denzel Valentine, Shooting Guard
The final year of the rookie contracts for a pair of Chicago Bulls guards, Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine, are up this coming summer. It does seem like the more likely of the two Bulls guards to return to the team next season would be Dunn. Given how well he fit into his new role under head coach Jim Boylen this season, a decent price tag could be enough to get Dunn back to the Windy City this summer.
The same might not be able to be said about the 6-foot-4 shooting guard Valentine. Denzel had a decent bounce back season coming off an entire year gone due to his ankle injury. The entire 2018-19 regular season saw nothing but confusion and instability surrounding the recovery Valentine from that aforementioned ankle injury.
It’s hard to shake the concerns that the front office and coaching staff had about Valentine in the past with his skill set and injury history. Valentine played well in spots this season, but he might not have done enough to even warrant an NBA contract out of the gates in the next cycle of free agency. What also doesn’t help Valentine’s case is the fact that he’s now 26 years old.
In 36 games played in the current season on hiatus, Valentine averaged 6.8 points per game, 2.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 0.7 steals, while shooting 40.9 percent from the field and 33.6 percent from beyond the arc. The way Valentine shot from downtown in the recent stretch of games before the hiatus isn’t an encouraging sign for his next step in his NBA career.