Today, Kris Dunn, Denzel Valentine, and Lauri Markkanen have even more in common than playing for the Chicago Bulls and being injured.
The Chicago Bulls announced today that they’ve picked up for 2019-20:
- the $5.3 million team option on the third year of Markkanen’s contract
- the $3.4 million team option on the fourth year of Valentine’s contract
- the $5.3 million team option on the fourth year of Dunn’s contract.
Really no surprises here, as rookie contracts are affordable and to young players. You aren’t going to let a 21-year-old, high upside guy like Markkanen get away from you. Dunn has tools, is still 24 years old, and may literally be the only one on the team right now who is a plus defender which makes him valuable, and Valentine is probably the Bulls second-best bench player and is a career 37.4 percent 3-point shooter.
In today’s Dunc’d On podcast, Duncan and LeRoux went through the two years of option-eligible players that have a deadline tonight. Valentine was reasoned as a potential ‘no’, doing the value calculation of having him under contract versus $3.4m in cap space this summer. But they acknowledged even if it was determined that Valentine wasn’t worth it, no way GarPax would indicate a drafting mistake by declining the option.
With the NBA salary cap expected to balloon to $109 million next season, the Bulls should have enough space for a max contract slot regardless, they’ll just have a little less now.