Former NBA shooting guard Denzel Valentine has reportedly discovered a new basketball home. The veterinarian continues his professional career abroad. Accordingly Sportando’s Kevin MartoranoThe 1.95 meter tall winger has agreed to a contract with the Italian LBA professional basketball team Olimpia Milano for the rest of the year.

Valentine, now 30, was a four-year player at Michigan State University under Tom Izzo, where he enjoyed his greatest success in the game. The Spartans made the Big Dance in each of Valentine’s four seasons from 2012 to 2016. The club compiled an overall record of 112-36 during that period. As for March Madness success, they reached the Final Four in 2014-15 when Valentine was a junior. During his distinguished MSU tenure, Valentine was a third-team and first-team All-Big Ten honoree, a consensus first-team All-American, the 2016 Big Ten Player of the Year, the Associated Press 2016 Player of the Year, the 2016 NABC Player of the Year and winner of the 2016 Julius Erving and Lute Olson Awards.

The Chicago Bulls selected Valentine with the No. 14 pick in the 2016 draft at the end of that year’s lottery. He was selected well ahead of All-Stars Pascal Siakam (27th pick) and Dejounte Murray (29th pick). Valentine has struggled with serious injury issues at the NBA level. He underwent left knee and left ankle surgeries while still on his rookie contract with Chicago. The ankle problem was so severe that he was sidelined completely during the team’s 2018–19 season.

He signed a $4.6 million qualifying offer with Chicago for his fifth professional season in 2020-21 and became an unrestricted free agent in 2021. Valentine then signed a minimum contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was traded to the New York Knicks in January 2022 as part of a three-team deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, but was released before he could play a game with New York. He signed a 10-day contract with the Utah Jazz before eventually landing with the Boston Celtics’ G League affiliate, the Maine Celtics, to close out the season. Valentine remained with Maine in 2022-23.

Landry Shamet, Denzel Valentine, Thaddeus Young
Landry Shamet #20 of the Brooklyn Nets goes to the basket while Lauri Markkanen #24, Thaddeus Young #21 and Denzel Valentine #45 of the Chicago Bulls defend during the second half at Barclays Center on…

Getty Images/Sarah Stier

In a total of 256 NBA regular season games (45 starts), Valentine has averages of seven points on .394/.360/.787 shooting splits, 3.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.6 steals per contest. Hailed as a multi-position player and shooter, Valentine never seemed to quite have the athleticism or speed to truly compete at the NBA level in his five professional seasons. And just like that it was over.

Valentine signed with the Sydney Kings for the duration of the 2023/24 season. According to Maggi, he averaged 12.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists at Sydney. It will be interesting to see how he performs at Olimpia Milano.