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Chicago Bulls introduce first-round draft pick Denzel Valentine

Denzel Valentine has officially been welcomed to the Chicago Bulls organization.

The Bulls held an introductory press conference for their first-round pick Monday morning at the Advocate Center, and Valentine instantly spoke positively of his newfound place in the NBA.

“One of the reasons I got so excited on draft night was because I was coming to an organization like the Bulls,” Valentine said.

Because of Valentine’s versatility as a guard, he was asked about what position he feels most comfortable playing, but he said there wasn’t one. And it’s that versatility that had general manager Gar Forman and head coach Fred Hoiberg speaking highly for their newest Bull.

“Denzel is a guy who is always going to make the right decision,” Hoiberg said. “Well-rounded, versatile player who fits the way we want to play.”

In his senior season at Michigan State, Valentine averaged 19.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists, something Hoiberg pointed out during the press conference. Hoiberg also spoke of Valentine’s ball-handling ability. He said the Bulls can go without a pure point guard on the floor so long as there are multiple ball handlers playing, suggesting Valentine be one of them. Forman also mentioned Valentine’s ability to handle and pass the ball well and his 3-point shooting and even went as far as to say Valentine is “a perfect fit” for Hoiberg’s “young core.”

Jimmy Butler and Doug McDermott are two Bulls in the “young core” that have contacted Valentine, but Valentine raved about Butler’s game in particular.

“I like Jimmy’s game a lot,” Valentine said. “If you pass him the ball, he’s gonna get a bucket.”

Other Press Conference Tidbits:

  • Hoiberg said he has been in constant communication with Butler since the season ended in mid-April and even went out to Los Angeles to visit him.
  • When asked about free agency, Forman said the Bulls want to focus on their free agents first, specifically mentioning E’Twaun Moore.
  • Hoiberg was asked about his lone season with Derrick Rose, and he thanked Rose for the one season they had together before talking about the players the Bulls acquired in the Rose trade.

  • McDermott will practice with the Bulls’ summer league team, but he will not play with them in Las Vegas.

Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.