The Bulls will extend a qualifying offer to swingman Denzel Valentine, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic tweets, but won’t do the same for guard Kris Dunn, according to NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson (Twitter link).
Valentine’s qualifying offer is worth $4,642,800 and Chicago’s decision will make him a restricted free agent. Dunn’s QO is $7,091,457 and by making him an unrestricted free agent, the Bulls rid themselves of his $16,044,021 cap hold. Dunn’s QO would have been identical to Valentine’s if he hadn’t narrowly met the “starter criteria.”
Valentine’s career was marred by a serious ankle injury which caused him to miss the entire 2018/19 season. He appeared in 36 games last season, including five starts, and averaged 6.8 PPG and 2.1 RPG in 13.6 MPG.
Chicago’s decision displays confidence that Valentine can regain the form he showed in 2017/18, his second NBA season, when he started 77 games and averaged 10.2 PPG while making 38.6% of his 3-point tries.
Dunn posted averages 7.3 PPG, 3.6 RPG and 3.4 APG in ’19/20 and was one of the league’s best defenders before a knee injury ended his season early. Dunn’s days in Chicago were numbered once the team drafted Coby White and signed Tomas Satoransky last season.
The fifth overall pick in the 2016 draft by Minnesota, Dunn was traded after his rookie season to the Bulls in the Jimmy Butler blockbuster. He had a disappointing run with the Bulls but he’s expected to have several bidders for his services, including the Clippers, according to Johnson.