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The Perfect Fit: Will You Be My (and Chicago's) Valentine?

Professing my love and my hope that Denzel Valentine will soon be a member of the Chicago Bulls.

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The Perfect Fit is a series I will be conducting for all of the Big Ten draftees as we get closer and closer to the June 23rd NBA Draft. In essence, it's me fumbling around NBA Mock Draft's and figuring out where one of the Big Ten players that remain in the draft are expected to go. After all, those websites have much more intel into the world of NBA Draft's than I could ever hope for. Once we get a range, I will decide which team would be the best fit for both the player and fans of the Big Ten in hopes of getting the best possible career outcome for said player. Got it? Good. First up, Denzel Valentine.

Not only am I one of those obnoxious 90's babies that grew up during the heyday of Michael and Scottie and Dennis and Tony and Luc and Ron and Jud and Bill and Phil -- just to name a few that I was enamored with -- I'm also one of those obnoxious 90's babies that grew up in the suburbs of Chicago during that same heyday. So for some of you that visit this site, I'm THAT GUY. The overly zealous Iowa alum that very often screams -- especially after a couple of rounds -- about how Portillo's and Lou Malnati's are two of the best places a person could eat in all of the United States while also trying to talk about hockey as if I paid any attention to it before Jonthan Toews came to town.

So understand, while reading this post, where my heart is and always will be. I may be a transplant living in Orlando, Florida, but my home will always be Sweet Home Chicago.

Now, as I'm sure most of you know, the lottery and NBA Combine have come and gone. We have finally left the "CAN THE LAKERS KEEP THEIR PICK and WILL THE SIXERS FINALLY GET THEIR PAYOFF" stage in favor of the "Where will (player X) be drafted?" conversations.

So when I was doing some research on some of the Big Ten's "sure things" and I stumbled on this video below, you can imagine how quickly my mind started wandering... especially with Jimmy Butler and his Chicago Bulls sock monkey providing little luck in moving up in the Lottery:

Damnit, Denzel, I think you'd be a great fit too buddy. But we'll get to that soon.

Now anyone can post in a blog about how well Ben Simmons would fit with their favorite team. Of course he would. There's a reason he's probably going to be the first pick in the draft. But despite my passions, I am (shockingly) a realist. While it would absolutely be lovely to have Ben Simmons in those classic black and red uniforms, I know that it would only be a possibility if Chicago's (sometimes moronic) upper management sent Jimmy Butler packing to Philadelphia. I don't want to send Jimmy Butler to Philadelphia, mainly because I wouldn't want anyone to be sent to Philadelphia right now unless of course your favorite drink was a Shirley Temple, in which case, said player would probably fit right in with the culture that has been established there.

The Chicago Bulls are in a weird place right now. They have the former MVP on an expiring contract, a very green head basketball coach -- that apparently still needs help with his defensive strategies and lessons in how to motivate and grab the hearts of a team, a franchise player that is (still) passionately in love with his former head basketball coach, a couple of interesting but somewhat limited young players (Doug McDermott, Bobby Portis, Nikola Mirotic) and a 30-year old Taj Gibson and a 35-year old Pau Gasol.

It's quite easy to gather what's missing.

The Bulls desperately need a ball-handling playmaker that fits into The Mayor's offensive strategies. A guy that can allow both Butler and Rose to play off the ball. Someone that can shoot from the outside the minute he steps onto the court. A positionless wonder that can play all over the wing and guard an assortment of players. Someone that has tremendous passing ability and court vision who can fill in for Kirk Hinrich, Joakim Noah and possibly Pau Gasol's (via trade) assists per game (which would hover around 5.5-9.1 for a team that was in the upper half in assists per game).

A ferocious player that is known for putting in the hard work to get better each and every day. Someone that The Mayor believes in. Someone that can be one of "Gar/Pax guys" and work their way into becoming one of those Gibson/Butler type players. Someone that is a little bit older and a little more seasoned with a strong background and a chip on their shoulder to keep proving people wrong.

Someone that isn't afraid to become a vocal leader in a locker room defunct of them.


Trick question because of course it is.

He's a Chicago Bulls masterpiece with his 6'5" (with a 6'10" wingspan) point-forward frame and strong collegiate background. The type of guy you just want to be around and watch grow.

How the Bulls front office hasn't met with Valentine up to this point is absolutely ridiculous to me unless of course they are hoping to bamboozle everyone on draft night, in which case, bamboozle on fellas. I love a good rope-a-dope.

As far as where he'll be drafted, no matter where I looked, as far as NBA Mock Draft's go, Valentine is hovering right around the 11th-16th pick. A.k.a, he's right in the Chicago Bull's very real wheel house.

Look, we've already established what Valentine brings to the table. I know it may sound like I'm in love with him and you can bet your bottom dollar that I am. But this is more than just taking my favorite player from the conference I also cover and placing him on my favorite NBA basketball team.

It's also a game of debate.

So I ask you, Mr./Mrs.Big Ten basketball fan who also religiously watches the NBA, do YOU want to see Valentine on the Utah Jazz (12th pick)? Of course you don't, because you don't watch Utah Jazz games. Nobody does. Valentine going to the Utah Jazz would be like George Clooney starring in a Smithsonian Channel remake of Night at the Museum. You barely (if at all) knew that that channel even existed (which it does) and even if you did, are you really going to try and seek it out? That would mean you'd have to scroll all the way into the 800's and that's just absolutely ludicrous and time consuming.

And don't get me started on the Orlando Magic (11th pick) and Phoenix Suns (13th pick). Valentine wouldn't work there, either. Both of those franchises already have a debacle on the wing with their assortment of ball handlers. Valentine would get buried. And we don't want Valentine to get buried. We want to watch fun, smiling, play making Valentine. The guy that made triple doubles look so easy at Michigan State. The guy that does stuff like this:

And this:

The whole point of this exercise is to put our draftable Big Ten stars and put them in places where they can succeed.

It's a no brainer folks.

There is little doubt in my mind that Valentine and Butler can become the cornerstones for this new era of Chicago Bulls basketball. The days of Derrick Rose and that one time championship window are soon to be fully over. And the NBA is a different world than before. But having Valentine bring the ball up in a Fred Hoiberg offense while looking to make those natural plays he dazzled us all with during his time with Michigan State already has me salivating at the mouth.

So, on June 23rd, when you sit down in front of your television to watch the draft, keep this lovely Chicago Valentine in your heart.

After all, every Valentine looks better in red. It's science.