Denzel Valentine sealed the NBA Summer League championship in style for the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, hitting both the game-tying and winning shots en route to an 84-82 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
After going scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting through the first three-quarters, the Bulls’ 14th overall pick in the NBA Draft hit the tying three-pointer with 0.2 seconds left in regulation. Moments prior, Tyrus Jones had given the Timberwolves a 77-74 lead with 3.6 seconds remaining. Then, with 11.7 seconds left in overtime, the 22-year-old held the ball until the final seconds, draining a two-pointer from the top of the key to win the game.
The 2016 AP Player of the Year for the Michigan State Spartans finished with a modest seven points, eight rebounds, and three assists in Tuesday’s Summer League finale. Valentine’s newest teammate and three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade took notice, writing “Ok Denzel Valentine I see you kid!!!” on Twitter.
Despite falling to a mid-first round pick, Valentine is expected to be a solid contributor to the Bulls’ offence this season. In 31 games (30 starts) for the Spartans, Valentine averaged 19.2 points, 7.8 assists, 7.6 rebounds, and shot .444 percent from three-point range in 33.0 minutes per game.
“I can bring a lot of things to the table and winning -- we gotta have somebody who's not scared to compete, that all they care about is winning,” Valentine told GiveMeSport in an exclusive interview during NBA Draft Media Day.
“All they care about is winning, when it's game time. Doesn't matter how many points or assists or whatever [they have], they just care about winning and do whatever it takes to win. I think I bring that mindset to a team."