Denzel Valentine keeps his eye on a starting job with the Bulls

SHARE Denzel Valentine keeps his eye on a starting job with the Bulls

Denzel Valentine, whose season officially ended Tuesday, has big aspirations for 2018-19.

The Bulls announced that Valentine will have arthroscopic surgery — ‘‘a minor procedure,’’ the team said — on his left knee Wednesday morning and would miss the last five games.


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“I feel like I should have a bigger role next year,’’ Valentine said. “I definitely should be a starter coming in. I definitely want to improve and be a for-sure starter on this team.

‘‘I think I can be a consistent player at this level, be somebody they can rely on, somebody who defends, makes shots, makes plays for others, plays the game the right way and is a competitor. So I definitely think I’m a starter in this league.’’

That remains to be seen.

Valentine started 37 games for the Bulls, playing in all 77 before being shut down.

He averaged 10.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists and lost his starting spot when Zach LaVine returned from his knee rehab.

Coach Fred Hoiberg said Valentine showed a lot of improvement since being selected 14th overall in the 2016 draft, but he obviously has some work to do during the offseason.

“We run a lot of offense through Denzel, and I thought he made really good strides this year as far as making simple plays, for the most part,’’ Hoiberg said. “Just the big thing with Denzel this offseason is work on his overall game and continue to work on his body so he can finish off the full 82 next year.’’

Valentine expects to be back to basketball activity in two or three weeks.

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