Chicago Bulls: Denzel Valentine extended a qualifying offer

Denzel Valentine, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Denzel Valentine, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

On his birthday, Nov. 16, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard/wing Denzel Valentine received a qualifying offer from the Chicago Bulls.

What is actually pretty surprising news coming out of the Chicago Bulls camp to start off the week, there was reportedly a qualifying offer extended to the former Michigan State Spartans shooting guard Denzel Valentine. The 6-foot-4 and 220 pound 27-year-old Valentine just got off the final year of his rookie contract to conclude the 2019-20 season.

Valentine is one of four impending free agent guards for the Bulls that will present the new look front office regime with challenging decisions this week. Newly hired executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley have to decide what to do with the likes of Valentine, combo guard Shaquille Harrison, point guard Kris Dunn, and even shooting guard/wing Adam Mokoka, as soon as early this week.

However, the first news that surfaced concerning the restricted free agents from last season’s Bulls team came with Valentine. According to a report from Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic on Twitter on the afternoon of Nov. 16, the Bulls extended Valentine a qualifying offer worth $4.7 million.

That’s around $1.5 million more than Valentine made on the final year of his rookie contract last season.

Since Valentine didn’t seem like a lock to return for the Bulls next season, getting a qualifying offer is a bit of a surprise to say the least. He didn’t stay very healthy for the Bulls in each of the last three seasons. Valentine even missed the entirety of the 2018-19 regular season with a lower-body injury.

During the shortened 2019-20 regular season, Valentine played in 36 games with the Bulls (just five of which he started in). And he averaged 6.8 points per game, 2.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.2 blocks. Valentine shot 40.9 percent from the field, 33.6 percent from beyond the arc, and 75.0 percent from the free-throw line.

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If Valentine does return for the Bulls next season, he would likely backup the likes of small forwards Otto Porter Jr. (who just picked up his player option on Nov. 15) and Chandler Hutchison. Or he could play behind the likes of Tomas Satoransky, Coby White, Zach LaVine, etc. in the backcourt rotation.