Bulls pick up options on Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn, Denzel Valentine
In an official statement released Tuesday morning, the Chicago Bulls announced that they have picked up the team options on several players, including Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn, and Denzel Valentine. In doing so, all three players will be under contract with the team for the 2019-20 season. Markkanen will be in his third season in 2019-20, while Dunn and Valentine will be in the fourth and final years of their rookie contracts.
The Bulls acquired Markannen’s rights in a draft night trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2017. Along with Markannen, the Bulls also acquired Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine. In exchange, Chicago sent Jimmy Butler and the rights to the 16th pick (Justin Patton) in the 2017 NBA Draft to the Timberwolves.
Markannen, now 21 years of age, is already making a name for himself in the NBA. The Finnish-born star was selected to the All-Rookie first team last season — a season in which he made 68 starts, averaging 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 29.7 minutes per game.
Dunn, 24, is currently dealing with a moderate MCL sprain, which will keep him sidelined for up to six weeks. The former Providence standout has played in just one game for the Bulls this season, recording nine points, seven assists, and four rebounds.
Chicago selected Valentine, 24, with the 14th overall pick in the 2016 draft. The former Michigan State Spartan made 77 appearances with the Bulls last season, averaging 10.2 points on 41.7 percent shooting (38.6 percent from beyond the arc), 5.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and just under one steal (0.8) in 27.2 minutes per outing. Currently, though, Valentine is out with a left ankle injury.
The Bulls will be back in action on Wednesday night, when they’ll welcome the Denver Nuggets to the United Center. Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m. ET.