Leading up to the 2016 NBA Draft there were plenty of rumors that the Chicago Bulls were looking to move up from 14 to take Kris Dunn. Much of those rumored discussion happened between the Bulls and the Boston Celtics, who owned the 3rd pick in last year’s draft. No trade happened and Dunn was selected 5th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Fast-forward a year and the Bulls were again interested in Dunn on draft night and, this time, they pulled the trigger. The Timberwolves and former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau got Jimmy Butler and the 16th pick — which turned into former Creighton big man Justin Patton — and the Bulls got Dunn, Zach LaVine and the 7th pick — which turned into Lauri Markkanen.
Dunn played 78 games last season, mostly behind TWolves veteran Ricky Rubio. He averaged 3.8 points/game, 2.8 assists/game, 2.1 rebounds/game in 17.1 minutes/game. Those numbers weren’t great and the statline gets worse if you look at the shooting numbers, but Dunn still has a ton of upside even at age 23. He’s got great size for the point guard position in the NBA and his defense will be what keeps him in the league for a long time. If Dunn can develop his shooting and continue to be a playmaker with the ball in his hands then he has NBA All-Star potential. Butler is a prime example. He worked hard on his game, including improving his shooting from being a 40.5% field goal shooter in his first season to shooting 45.5% this past season.
A Bulls fan friend asked me for a scouting report on Dunn. When I was finished regaling him with the physical traits and the defensive prowess he responded, “I love it. Bulls are back!” It might take a little time with a rebuild likely, but Dunn will get more of a chance to play and develop. The next few years are likely to determine whether Dunn will be a stalwart point guard in the NBA for years to come or if he will be a reserve guard who specializes in defense. I know Friartown is rooting for the former.
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