Bulls coach Jim Boylen is unfazed by swingman Denzel Valentine’s unhappiness
Valentine made his frustrations known to the Sun-Times, specifically about being removed from the rotation with no real explanation from his coach.
BOSTON — Outside noise does little to faze Bulls coach Jim Boylen.
Inside noise doesn’t stand much of a chance, either.
So while Boylen said Monday that while he understood where swingman Denzel Valentine’s frustration is coming from, he wasn’t losing any sleep about it.
‘‘Well, I don’t expect him to be happy about not playing,’’ Boylen said. ‘‘My expectation for him is to stay ready and, when called upon, try and produce and try and help us win. That’s what it’s about.
‘‘Everybody has a choice on how they react to things, their behavior to a situation. He’s a pro; I expect him to be a pro. He’s been great so far. He works, he cares and his job is to stay ready. I think he will.’’
Valentine has done nothing but that, but he recently told the Sun-Times he wasn’t thrilled about being removed from the rotation, especially after putting together what he thought was a solid December.
‘‘I’m definitely not happy about it,’’ Valentine said Saturday. ‘‘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.’’
Valentine isn’t the only Bulls player to go in and out of the rotation this season. Guard Ryan Arcidiacono and big man Luke Kornet have gone through it, too. Sometimes it has been performance-based; other times it has been a matchup or simply how practice was going.
The difference right now is that Arcidiacono and Kornet are back in, while Valentine is sitting next to big man Cristiano Felicio at the end of the bench.
‘‘Now we’ve got to get that second unit playing more consistently and keep that first group going,’’ Boylen said. ‘‘I feel strongly that [Arcidiacono] settles us down a little bit. He’s another ballhandler in there. It was necessary to expand our rotation on a back-to-back, but I think you’ll see more of that.’’
That’s good news for Arcidiacono, who said he feels for Valentine. The bench squad often can be seen playing three-on-three and four-on-four after practice, just to stay in condition and keep the timing where it needs to be.
‘‘I think everyone gets frustrated at times when you’re out of the rotation, but we have good dudes on this team that want what’s best for the team,’’ Arcidiacono said. ‘‘We all think we can help, and I think I can help. But the last couple of games before I was playing, Denzel, Luke, we all kept a positive mindset.
‘‘One day might be someone’s night, and the next might be someone else’s night. As long as we stay ready, we’ll be good.’’
The Bulls knew guard Kris Dunn wouldn’t be thrilled with starting the season as a reserve, but they sold him on the idea by bringing up Celtics sixth man Marcus Smart and the impact he has made off the bench.
‘‘His name has come up,’’ Boylen said. ‘‘I think the greatest comparison of those two guys is they’re team guys. They do whatever it takes to win, role acceptance to help the team play better.
‘‘Smart has the ability to start, come off the bench, can play [point guard] through [power forward] and help you win. So I think they are maybe kindred spirits, in a way.’’