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Denzel Valentine ‘fully confident’ he’ll make an impact next season for Bulls after missing all of 2018-19

Bulls, Denzel Valentine

Chicago Bulls small forward Denzel Valentine is “fully confident” he’ll make an impact next season after missing all of 2018-19.

Valentine underwent reconstructive surgery on his left ankle in November. He averaged 10.2 points per game during the 2017-18 season.

The Bulls drafted Valentine with the 14th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. The swingman is excited to silence his critics next season.

“I’m not worried; I’m fully confident I’ll come back and have an impact,” Valentine told Sam Smith of Bulls.com. “That’s the type of person I am. I’ll train hard this summer and see where next year takes me. I really haven’t been fully healthy (since that Summer League). I was at the beginning of last year, but then had a setback at the end (arthroscopic knee surgery). This will be the first time time I’ll be able to be fully healthy.

“The NBA has not yet seen a fully healthy me.”

Valentine has career averages of 8.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 134 games with the Bulls while shooting 39.9 percent from the field, 37.4 percent from beyond the arc and 75.4 percent from the free-throw line.

The Bulls have a nice young core headlined by Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr., Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. Valentine wants to show Chicago he can be a part of that future.