Source: Denzel Valentine to be ready for summer league after surgery

ByNick Friedell ESPN logo
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

CHICAGO -- Bulls guard Denzel Valentine had a surgical procedure on his left ankle to "clean up" the area, according to a league source.

Valentine, who posted a picture on Instagram of him wearing a walking boot Tuesday, will rehab over the next few weeks but is expected to be ready to participate in the Vegas Summer League in early July.

Valentine dealt with two separate ankle injuries in his rookie season, missing most of the preseason after the first setback.

Bulls executives John Paxson and Gar Forman remain high on Valentine's potential after an up and down rookie campaign. They made it clear to Valentine in an exit interview -- and again at their end-of-season news conference -- that he is expected to grow more into his role next season.

"Just that next year they plan on me being a big contributor to the team," Valentine said after his closeout meeting with the Bulls' braintrust after the season. "Being one of those main guys, accepting my leadership role even more and just being a guy they can depend on next year."

Valentine averaged 5.1 points and 2.6 rebounds a game in his first NBA season.