Chicago Bulls rookie Denzel Valentine impressed onlookers at the recently-concluded Las Vegas Summer League. There were many times when the 6-foot-5 shooting guard looked like the veteran play maker on the team.
Despite being hailed as 2016’s Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year, the former Michigan State Spartan fell to the 14th spot in this year’s Rookie Draft. Right from the onset of the Las Vegas Summer League, he was very anxious to prove those 13 teams wrong.
Blog A Bull suggested that the Bulls should seriously consider having Valentine as their backup point guard. His surprisingly remarkable court vision was on full display at Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas. Valentine was dishing to wide open shooters, advancing the ball during fast breaks and orchestrating the pick-and-rolls beautifully.
Valentine also showcased his clutch gene during the Summer League championship game. He hit a buzzer-beater to force the game into overtime and hit the game-winner in extra time to send the Bulls past the Minnesota Timberwolves, 84-82. In seven games, he averaged 11.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
In other Bulls-related news, the league announced on Thursday that the 2017 All-Star Game will no longer be held in Charlotte. This was after state legislators dismissed public calls to change newly-enacted laws aimed at the LGBT community.
“Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand,” the league said in a statement shared to The Vertical via ESPN. “We do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2.”
The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, aka House Bill 2, mandates transgender people in North Carolina to use public restrooms that correspond to the sex stated on their birth certificates. It also prohibits local governments from expanding LGBT protections and omits LGBT people from the state’s anti-discrimination protections.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst is hearing that Chicago is one of the front-runners to host the NBA All-Star Weekend and the All-Star Game happening on Feb. 19, 2016.