Even for a first-round pick, life in the NBA can be tough.
After being selected with the 14th overall pick by the Chicago Bulls in the 2016 draft, Denzel Valentine has been unable to find any stability in the league. His latest setback came on Friday evening when the Boston Celtics cut him to make room for the newly signed Blake Griffin.
The Celtics are waiving Denzel Valentine, sources tell me and @ShamsCharania.
— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) September 30, 2022
Valentine showed promise during the 2017-2018 season, his second in the NBA. He put up 10.2 points per game, 5.1 rebounds and shot 38.6 percent from three-point range in 27.2 minutes of action while suiting up in 77 games including 37 starts.
Unfortunately for him, he suffered a left knee injury in April of 2018 that kept him out for the remainder of that year. The following season, he dealt with an ankle sprain in training camp that ultimately turned out to be a bone bruise. After missing the start of the 2018-2019 season, Valentine was ruled out for the year due to ongoing ankle issues.
He played sparingly for the Bulls over the next two seasons and was never able to regain the promise he showed during his second year. Chicago allowed him to become a free agent following the 2020-21 season and the Cleveland Cavaliers signed him to a non-guaranteed training camp deal.
Valentine would end up making the Cavaliers roster ahead of the 2021-22 season, but the traded him to the New York Knicks in January and the Knicks cut him. He finished the season in the G League playing for the Maine Celtics, Boston’s affiliate.
During the 2018 off-season, Valentine went viral on social media after an appearance at the Drew League in Los Angeles didn’t go so well.
The former first-round pick will now try to catch on with another NBA team in hopes of making the final roster.