Bulls exercise options on Markkanen, Dunn, and Valentine

NBA.com Global on Oct 31, 2018 07:12 AM
Bulls exercise options on Markkanen, Dunn, and Valentine
Lauri Markkanen NBA file photo

Chicago Bulls press release

The Chicago Bulls have exercised the third-year option on Lauri Markkanen, and fourth-year options on guards Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine. By exercising their options, all players will be under contract with the Bulls for the 2019-20 season.

Markkanen came to the Bulls in a Draft-night trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves on June 22, 2017, in which his rights were acquired, along with Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine, in exchange for Jimmy Butler and the rights to the 16th selection in the 2017 NBA Draft. Markkanen was selected to the All-Rookie First Team last season after playing in 68 games (68 starts) and averaging 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 29.7 minutes per game. Markkanen set a Bulls’ franchise record for most 3-point field goals made in a rookie season (145) and was the fastest rookie in NBA history to reach 100 3-pointers made when he hit 101 through his first 41 games. Markkanen was also a participant in the 2018 Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars Game and a finalist in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.

The Bulls acquired Dunn in the Draft-night trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves on June 22, 2017. Last season, he played in 52 games (43 starts) and averaged 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.00 steals in 29.3 minutes per game. His career averages are 7.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.39 steals over 131 games. Dunn scored a career-high 32 points to go along with nine assists on Jan. 5, 2018, at Dallas, and he joined Michael Jordan as the only two players for the Bulls to have a game with at least 20 points, 12 assists, four steals and two blocks on Dec. 26, 2017, at Milwaukee. Dunn has played in one game this season on Oct. 22 at Dallas, and he scored nine points with four rebounds and seven assists.

Valentine was selected 14th overall by Chicago in the 2016 NBA Draft. He played in a team-high 77 games in 2017-18 (37 starts), and averaged 10.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 27.2 minutes per game. He has averaged 8.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in his career over 134 games. Valentine’s 143 3-pointers made last season rank as the 11th-highest single-season total in Bulls history. On March 17, 2018, vs. Cleveland, he recorded career highs in points (34), field goals made (13) and 3-pointers made (eight).

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