Bulls Exercise Options On 5 Young Players

(CBS) The Bulls have locked five players into contracts for the 2018-’19 season, exercising the third-year options of guards Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine and the fourth-year options of guard Jerian Grant, guard Cameron Payne and forward Bobby Portis.

Dunn, 23, was acquired in a draft night trade in June that sent Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves. He averaged 3.8 points per game last season as a rookie after being selected fifth overall in 2016.

Valentine, 23, was the 14th overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, averaging 5.1 points per game in 57 contests during his rookie season.

Grant, 25, was acquired in a trade that sent Derrick Rose to the Knicks in June 2016. He’s averaging 10.8 points and 7.3 assists per game in four starts this season with the Bulls. Grant has a career average of 5.9 points per game.

Payne, 23, was added in February in a trade that sent Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick to the Thunder. He has averaged 5.0 points per game during his first two NBA seasons. Payne is currently sidelined after surgery on his right foot.

Portis, 22, was selected with the 22nd pick in the 2015 draft. He has averaged 6.9 points and 5.0 rebounds in 126 games during his career. Portis is currently serving an eight-game suspension after a punch in practice that hospitalized teammate Nikola Mirotic.

The Bulls play the Thunder on Saturday night at 7 p.m. CT at the United Center.

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