Denzel Valentine now playing backup point guard for Bulls
During last year’s draft, the Chicago Bulls used the 14th overall pick to select Denzel Valentine. Standing at 6-foot-6, with the ability to knock down perimeter jumpers and drive to the basket as needed, they did not hesitate in adding him to bolster their shooting guard rotation.
However, with the guard-heavy lineup that they now have, the Bulls are placing him in a different role, making him their point guard in some stretches. The good news for head Fred Hoiberg and his staff is he’s responded positively, and even had a solid game on Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks. The third-year head coach spoke highly about Valentine recently, via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, and gave him a lot of credit for being effective on the court.
“As long as Denzel is out there making simple plays, we’ll be fine,” Hoiberg said. “The one thing about this offense is there’s built-in pressure releases. So if he’s getting pressured, there are other guys who can get into the offense and initiate.”
With Kris Dunn suffering a dislocated finger and slated to be out for two weeks, it can be expected that Valentine will receive more minutes at the backup point guard spot. It will be his chance to showcase his versatility, and could also lead to getting extended playing time if he continues to be effective in his new role.
It may not seem like the best fit for Valentine, but if he can be the answer to the team’s need of having a reliable backup at the one spot, not only could he spend more time on the floor, but it could also set him up for the coming years, and be one of the Bulls’ cornerstones, as they try to rebuild quickly.