Valentine performed well when he was given regular playing time in December, reaching double figures in scoring six times in a seven-game stretch. Cowley notes that the Bulls, who have a 14-26 record, were 6-6 last month when Valentine logged at least 10 minutes.
‘‘I’m definitely not happy about it,’’ he said. ‘‘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.’’
Boylen informed Valentine last week that he was being pulled from the rotation in a decision that may be related to the 26-year-old’s long-term future in Chicago. He will be a restricted free agent after the season, and sources tell Cowley the Bulls don’t intend to re-sign him. The club would reportedly be happy to include him in a trade package if the opportunity arises before next month’s deadline.
‘‘I’ve just got to take it a day at a time,’’ Valentine said. ‘‘I can’t try and think about the future and worry about the future because you never know what’s going to happen. If I get moved or if I stay here … I’m happy I’m in the NBA, living my dream.’’
It was Chandler Hutchison‘s return from a shoulder injury that relegated Valentine to the bench, adds K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Valentine had his second straight DNP-CD tonight and has played just nine total minutes in January.
The only bright side for Valentine is that his ankle has held up after surgery forced him to miss all of last season. That should bolster his trade value, and Johnson speculates that the Bulls might try to include him as part of any deal that involves Thaddeus Young.
“I let my agent handle that. I try not to worry too much about that. I try to make the most out of my situation right now,” Valentine said. “I feel I can play on any team. I’m trying to make the Chicago Bulls better. Any other stuff is out of my control.”