Bulls Draft Denzel Valentine At 14

Bulls Draft Denzel Valentine At 14
Michigan State's Denzel Valentine brings the ball upcourt during a game against Northeastern in Boston. (Winslow Townson / AP)

With so much noise and speculation surrounding Jimmy Butler potentially being dealt to either the Boston Celtics or Minnesota Timberwolves, it was easy to forget that the Bulls actually had a draft selection of their own to make. Holding onto pick No. 14, the Bulls selected Michigan State guard Denzel Valentine in Thursday's NBA Draft.

Boasting averages of 19.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.8 assists and shooting 44.4 percent from the 3-point line in his final season with Spartans, Valentine will bring a rounded offensive game to Chicago and will offer head coach Fred Hoiberg another quality passer and shot creator to use within his rotations.

The Bulls certainly have issues with their wing rotation and Valentine will help that almost immediately, but as a limited defender who lacks foot speed, agility and athleticism, the fit with Bulls can be questioned. Already 22-years-old and with past knee issues, one has to imagine that it will be impossible to hide Valentine's defensive woes when sharing the floor with Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott.

Speaking after the Derrick Rose trade, Gar Forman's grand plans of building a younger and more dynamic roster seem to contradict with the drafting of Valentine, particularly when Wade Baldwin and Timothe Luwawu were available for the Bulls at pick No. 14.

How the Bulls develop Valentine will be key, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. If he can develop this area of his game, Valentine can grow into a terrific pick for the Bulls, but only time will tell.

For more in depth analyis on Denzel Valentine, visit Draft Express.


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  • Old and slow just like they like them.

    Is there any reason at all to actually listen while Gar Foreman talks anymore? Or should we listen and just assume the exact opposite of whatever he says is what they are doing. That is of course making the big assumption they actually know what they are doing...

    Opposing teams will be having wet dreams about Valentine and McDermott on the court "playing" defense.

  • In reply to Chad:

    as long as Butler is around, they won't be on the court together very often. I already thought that if McWNBA plays at all in the NBA it will be at SG not SF. Valentine is 2 inches shorter than McD, so he is definitely a SG and not a SF. Valentine seems like one of those guys that people call a basketball player, in baseball he's a gamer, much more all around productive than McUseless if not shooting 3 pointers in an empty gym.

    Also, I didn't realize that 23-4 is old, even in the NBA that is still young.

  • Valentine sure can fill up the stats tho.

    I wonder how much input the HC had?

  • Not to excited about the results of the draft. Valentine worries me just because of the Draymond Green comparison. He's not Green and I'm afraid that is why people wanted him. Didn't pay any attention to Zipser at all leading up to the draft, but watching his scouting report on DraftExpress gets me more interested. I wonder if there is a chance he could be the second coming of Nocioni. Good defender, can shoot, plays tough. Could be a fan favorite type of guy.
    Overall, though, I'm still wondering just what the Bulls are trying to do. I was really hoping to see them move Snell, Dunleavey, and Gibson tonight and they did nothing. Finding it hard to believe they have a roster that can be better than bottom half of the playoffs. If Butler moves to the 3 spot, then I think they can have a strong front court. The backcourt is extremely weak. No real starting PG and no starter next to Butler (whether he plays SG or SF). All they have are backups. Right now, I just really hope they can bring Moore back. Best case may be:
    PG: Calderone/ Grant/Dinwiddie
    SG: Moore/Valentine
    SF: Butler/McDermott/ Zipser/ Snell
    PF: Mirotic/ Gibson/ Portis
    C: Lopez/ Felicio
    Nice, but not that good.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    Yeah the Draymond Green comparison makes sense with the rounded offensive game but at SG he will be a huge liability on defense. At 6-4 or 6-5 its hard to see him playing the 3 or 4 spot in the NBA. It has been done though so who knows.

    They are treading water trying to be a fringe playoff team. That's a tall order though given the talent that is going out the door on a team that already missed the playoffs. I let my hopes get up about a Wolves trade during the draft but I knew I shouldn't have.

    The five pick (Buddy Heild!) and Andrew Wiggens would have jump started a rebuild for sure. I think it would have been good for Wolves as well. Wolves are young Jimmy could be the self anointed leader all he wanted.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    He Zipser looks long and fairly athletic, and he appears to be able to shoot some. For a total unknown and a second round pick, doesn't seem too bad at all.

    As far as starting goes, its up to Jimmy if he moves to SF, Valentine is our likely starter at SG, If Jimmy wants to stay at SG, then Zipser has a chance to start at SF.

  • Once again a clueless pick by the Bulls. Just a day after Forman says they have to get more athletic the Bulls draft a player " who lacks foot speed, agility and athleticism". This is also after Forman says the Bulls have to get younger, and then trade Rose for 2 players who were older. The incompetence of this front office is off the charts.

  • I agree with the haters on this one. I think they screwed this draft. Valentine has offensive skills but was a defensive liability IN COLLEGE. He does not have any apparent 2-way upside. They already have McDoug and Niko. They wanted to trade Jimmy for Dunn and Lavine but Thibs wanted them to take Rubio instead of LaVine. I'm glad the Bulls passed on that offer but disappointed they couldn't pull off their preferred trade. I agree that this team is just treading water now, not much hope or excitement. I'd rather see them be bad than mediocre.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    The only guy to get excited about at 14 was Thon Maker. I now officially hate the Bucks guts. I almost have to root for Maker to be a bust, but this is going to be a bigger mistake than taking Teague instead of Draymond Green. I knew that someone was going to steal him before we had a chance. That's why I wanted to trade up to Sacto at #8 to take Maker once he was still there at 8. Sacto traded that pick for multiple picks in the 20's. Rose to Sacto might have made some sense. Once Rose was gone, then our only option was using Taj and maybe the rights to Sacto's pick next year.

    Valentine put up numbers that haven't been seen in college since, well maybe never, so he must have some talent. It probably comes down to him having enough athleticism to transfer his talent to the NBA game. We won't know that until we see him in the regular season.

    After Maker, my second choice for this pick was between Valentine and Davis(who slipped to the first pick in the second round, and then was traded to the Griz), so I can't complain after losing out on Maker.
    Man, that guy is one heck of a physical specimen, and apparently a great character guy too.

    The Jimmy to Minny thing can still happen anytime between now and the trade deadline. The Bulls have to hold the line and force Minny to overpay, or just not do the deal. If Wiggins is out(which I believe he is) then Rubio and LaVine plus another asset is the starting point.

  • IMO, the biggest winner of the draft was the TWolves. Because the Celts and the Suns both have a logjam at point guard they passed on the third best player in the draft, Kris Dunn. And he is the perfect fit for this team. For all of his skill, Rubio is not a first rate pg.

    The conventional wisdom was that Thibs would give up two yet to be developed talents, Dunn and LaVine, for Jimmy Butler. I guess that could still happen but it appears Thibs has fallen in love with Dunn and perhaps LaVine as well.

    Moreover, the conventional wisdom was that Gar would hold out for Wiggins and #5. I had a feeling that it was Dunn, in fact, that was the key for the Bulls and that they would certainly take LaVine in lieu of Wiggins if Dunn were available. According to reports I read last night, that is exactly how it turned out.

    So, what now? If I were GM of the Bulls I would sweeten the proposed deal by adding Taj and Dunleavy (two of Thibs favorites) to the deal. Heck, I'd even grab Kirk right now at the minimum and throw him in. Thibs would be helpless at the offer of such a package. Why would I do this? I'm in love with Dunn and LaVine as well.

  • IMO the 76ers won the draft getting the best player and a pair of guys (Lawawu and Furknaz) in the mid 20s that I was interested in at 14.

  • The winner of the draft was OKC!!!!!!! Sabonis (my favorite player in the draft) and Oladepo?!?!?! All they had to give up was Ibaka? Makes me wonder if the Bulls offered Taj and #14 what they could have done? Thunder are my early favorites for the championship!

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    that was a great move for OKC, trading Ibaka as he's regressed, and filling their biggest weakness, starting SG. They would have closed out GS in the conference finals if they had him this year.

  • Bulls needed to clean house....
    Looking forward to many Top Ten draft picks in the coming years.

  • Butler to Minnesota trade still can happen.....and will.

  • I didn't want Kris Dunn. Another guy who can't shoot. Butler as a two way player, but one who can't shoot threes needs to be traded, but not by an inept Bulls F.O. They flat out had a willing trade partner in Thibodeau. I don't give a crap who they throw in the point of the deal is acquiring the franchise changing pick we want. Period. Jamal Murray was the player to be had. Prolific scorer at a young age with excellent shooting ability. Exceptional quickness though a little small for SG, but a true talent who will translate. We could have had him. In reality we couldn't though because Forman and Paxson are unrealistic, inflexible trade partners and always have been. Good thing I'm not invested in these assholes. Life's too short.

  • Also Valentine is slower then Draymond Green, and defensively he's just going to get eaten alive. He's too short to be a SF, and SGs are just going to roast him. Guys this slow will always be giveth and takeath away I.e not worth it. Please sell the team Reinsdorfs and quit living off the corporate tit. Then fire Gar gutter snipe Forman and John emotionally immature and in over his head Paxson.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Can you imagine a defensive lineup featuring Valentine, McDermott and Mirotic? Hide the women and children.

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