Denzel Valentine Drafted #14 Overall
After four years of hard work at Michigan State, Denzel Valentine has made it to the big time, drafted #14 overall to the Chicago Bulls.
Valentine joins a Bulls squad that just sent Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks. Though he's listed as a small forward he can play down to a point guard position if need be, a trait he showed at times at Michigan State.
As of his drafting the only point guard on Chicago's roster is Aaron Brooks, a seven year veteran from Oregon. The Bulls did just acquire Jose Calderon in the aforementioned Rose deal from the Knicks. Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy currently occupy the shooting guard and small forward starting spots on the depth chart according to ESPN.
Valentine, 22, averaged 19.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game with Michigan State last year. Valentine appeared in 144 games as a Spartan averaging 11.4 points throughout his career. He saw consistent stat rises in points, rebounds, assists, field goal and three point percentage year to year at Michigan State.
Valentine was named player of the year among the AP, the Big Ten, the NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches), NBC Sports, USA Today, Sports Illustrated and many others. Valentine and #6 overall (New Orleans) pick Buddy Hield were splitting player of the year awards across the country.
Valentine's knees were considered a concern. He missed four games during the regular season his senior year, the only missed games of his college career. The Bulls weren't scared of that and used the final lottery pick of the 2016 draft on him.
Valentine is the first Michigan State lottery pick since Jason Richardson in 2001 (5th overall).
According to RealGM, the rookie contract value in year one for the 14th overall pick is $1.684 million.