Denzel Valentine breaks silence on Cavs trading him away with heartfelt message

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Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being traded away by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Denzel Valentine offered a gracious goodbye to the Cavaliers on Instagram.

Denzel Valentine Cavs

During Valentine’s short stay as a member of the Cavaliers this season, he came off the bench in 22 games. He was averaging 2.9 points and 1.7 rebounds per game, and he was doing so in just 9.3 minutes of action per contest.

The Cavaliers signed Valentine in September of 2021 after he’d spent the first four of his NBA seasons with the Chicago Bulls.

Valentine was the 14th overall selection of the 2016 NBA Draft, but he was never able to put things together with the Bulls. His best season with them came in the 2017-18 campaign, when he started 37 of his 77 games and averaged 10.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per contest.

The signing of Valentine by the Cavaliers was an effort to see if they could finally tap into the talent that had once made him a first-round draft selection. The signing was seen by some fans as an experiment of sorts.

That approach perhaps changed when the team enjoyed some early success and quickly developed into a playoff contender this season. Unfortunately, in recent weeks, the Cavs have been forced to deal with season-ending injuries to Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio.

Valentine will now look to get his career moving forward in the right direction with a new team. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers will keep moving forward and look to earn a playoff berth.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.