NBA Rumor: Denzel Valentine Free Agency

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Now, depending on whether the Bulls return to close out the regular season, Valentine is on the verge of becoming a restricted free agent with 36 choppy games to show for the past two seasons. Whether his future is in Chicago or elsewhere, the end of the season should have been a proving ground for Valentine to demonstrate he’s still got it — and he’s deserving of the financial security afforded to those who do. “It’s pretty rough right now because it’s a lot of uncertainty that’s going on,” Valentine said. “And it’s my contract year. It’s a lot on my plate right now that I think about. Everybody’s going through it right now. It’s a lot of people out there that lost their jobs and have bigger problems than I have. I’m just very blessed and grateful to be where I’m at right now. But there are still some things to worry about.”

Denzel Valentine on the block?

What Valentine won’t do yet is demand a trade. He will be a restricted free agent this summer, and sources have indicated the Bulls don’t see him in their future. If they could package him in a trade by the deadline next month, they would jump at the opportunity. If Valentine is traded, that’s one thing. But he isn’t walking around and pouting with the hope the Bulls will pull the trigger on a deal. That’s not in his character.

Just like that, however, he was back on the bench. And he’s not happy about it. For the first time, however, he’s really voicing that displeasure rather than simply saying what the Bulls want to hear. ‘‘I’m definitely not happy about it,’’ Valentine said Saturday. ‘‘I’m a competitor. I want to play, I want to be productive, I want to help the team win. But that’s out of my control, so I’m not about to let it make [me] not happy every day.’’

The Chicago Bulls have exercised the third-year option on Lauri Markkanen, and fourth-year options on guards Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine. By exercising their options, all players will be under contract with the Bulls for the 2019-20 season. Markkanen came to the Bulls in a Draft-night trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves on June 22, 2017, in which his rights were acquired, along with Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine, in exchange for Jimmy Butler and the rights to the 16th selection in the 2017 NBA Draft. Markkanen was selected to the All-Rookie First Team last season after playing in 68 games (68 starts) and averaging 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 29.7 minutes per game.
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October 27, 2021 | 2:05 am EDT Update

Jazz brought Dwyane Wade to appease Donovan Mitchell?

One source with knowledge of the situation maintained Mitchell had no involvement in Wade purchasing a stake in the team. In any case, it’s a move many league observers have viewed as a direct attempt by Smith to appease Mitchell, who first formed a strong connection with Wade through their representation at Creative Artists Agency. “It’s a little bit of new-owner syndrome, too,” said an assistant general manager. “You come in, and you’re immediately told, ‘The star player, you want them to like you.'”
There’s a player option in the fifth year of Mitchell’s $163 million contract, which still wouldn’t let the All-Star reach free agency until 2025 at the earliest. And despite the superstar trade request seemingly more en vogue than ever, the Jazz appear to be doing just fine building around Mitchell in Utah. Around the NBA, he’s known as a team-oriented and affable leader, believing this group can compete for a championship. Utah did finish top-five in both offensive and defensive efficiency last season.
There does not appear to be any connection between Mitchell’s interests and the ouster of former president Dennis Lindsey. That decision stemmed largely, sources confirmed to B/R, from a rift between the executive and Snyder in which Smith sided with his head coach. Jazz staffers point specifically to Lindsey selecting Udoka Azubuike in the first round of the 2020 draft, as well as other draft additions that failed to make an NBA impact as a main stimulant in the turmoil between the president and Snyder.
Storyline: Utah Jazz Turmoil?