Am I a few months too early on my title? Yup! Do I know Thanksgiving is on the mend? Yup! Am I talking about Denzel Valentine? Yup! Did we all just become best friends? Hell ya we did. Like Denzel Washington, Denzel Valentine is efficient, reliable to perform when called upon, and a jack of all trades. Some of the best movies of Washington’s era have won slews of awards. He has won 39 total awards in his career, including three Golden Globes and two Academy Awards. Denzel Valentine? He was the Lansing State Journal Player of the Year as a senior in High School, George Alderton Male Athlete of the Year (Michigan State award), The AP National Player of the Year, The Big 10 Player of the year, and a 1st Team All-American all in his senior year of college. Between these two Denzel’s we have a ton of awards to talk about, both on and off the court. Today, we talk about Denzel of the Bulls from House Chicago. Yes, I am re watching Game of Thrones for the 3rd time and that’s just the way I speak now.
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So no, it’s not Valentine’s Day, heck it’s not even Training Day, but we have to Remember the Titans, or the Spartan in this case, that was a Man on Fire this past week, and should continue to be Unstoppable, a true Equalizer, jumping over all types of Fences on his way to your fantasy roster. I mean, he most definitely got game. You see what I did there? All puns intended. Valentine has been starting in place of David Nwaba, not that’s not a Denzel Washington character, that’s a player on House Chicago. Nwaba was playing well, probably would have eventually ended up in Beyond the Glory, but he is dealing with an ankle sprain, and those do not go away, they linger for weeks. Valentine has played 30+ minutes over his last four games and has been averaging 13.3 points, five rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 3.3 3PM per game in that span. He is handling the ball and playing extremely well on both ends. Maybe Valentine, a prime candidate for Adam Morrison treatment (mad good in college, mad bad in the NBA), just needed some time to work out his kinks before becoming productive.
Now, Zach Lavine is coming back, Justin Holiday is still being praised for his fantastic summer league and Bobby Portis is working on being freed. This season, with this roster, is a unique opportunity for an underappreciated talent in Denzel Valentine. I think he holds onto the job until Lavine comes back. I think he continues to play significant minutes when Lavine and Mirotic resurface, and I think this is the year Valentine proves his worth for the long term. Look at Draymond Green, and many other Michigan State products. They play hard, work hard, and strive for greatness. Valentine is a consummate Michigan State product, and will carve out his niche as a pro. Maybe it’s 3&D, maybe it amounts to more, but for now, Valentine is going to hustle, rack up counting stats, and continue to solely support his local dentist. If you have an open spot, this is a great week to roster Valentine, as the Bulls play on the short slate nights. Long term, I can see him being a great source of 3s and a potential multi-cat contributor if given ample run.
Enjoy Thanksgiving and don’t deny you’ll be binge watching Denzel Washington movies all weekend.