The Chicago Bulls guard has been at the center of the team’s defense but with the trade deadline only a couple of weeks away, can we be seeing the last few games of Kris Dunn in a Bulls uniform?
Kris Dunn will most likely not be a member of the Chicago Bulls next season. That statement should not be viewed as a reflection of his current value, but rather as his value to team management at the end of last season.
Dunn will be entitled to a qualifying offer of $7,091,457 for next season. Instead of extending him last offseason, they chose to sign Ryan Arcidiacono to a three-year deal, bring in Tomas Satoransky and draft Coby White. As we use to say when figuring out if we had just been dumped, “do the math”.
Some players may have accepted that as a sign of defeat. Instead, Kris Dunn believed in himself, as he always had, and focused on what was in his control. He has turned himself into one of the most respected defenders in the league.
His head coach has even said as much. “He’s one of the top defenders in the league. He’s a Defensive Player of the Year candidate to me” were Boylens words back in December. It may have been Boylen acting as a salesman for Bulls management, but his words cannot be refuted.
The season began with Dunn at the point leading the second unit. There were many early losses where it was that reserve group keeping the game close.
Injuries to Otto Porter and Chandler Hutchison then led Boylen to give Dunn a shot guarding the small forward position. Except for a few games, such as last night in Philadelphia where Ben Simmons overpowered everyone the Bulls threw at him, Dunn has been a pesky lock down defender causing steals for himself and his teammates.
He is second in the NBA in steals and the Bulls are leading the league. That production will not be easy to replace.
His value should be at least equal to his qualifying offer and the Bulls need to decide if they would be willing to match a deal similar to what Satoransky gets, three years at ten million a year. If not, it behooves them to trade him now and not risk getting nothing back.
In reality, investing that money in Dunn may not be in the Bulls best interests anyways. His limitations on the offensive end as a shooter often result in a sagging defense, making it difficult to spread the floor. They also have three point guards in Satoransky, White and Arcidiacono, all much better shooters than Dunn.
With positions of need, such as small forward, one has to assume the Bulls may be looking to perhaps package Dunn with another player, such as Thad Young who can provide experience and grit to a contender in need of size. Lauri Markkanen‘s name has also surfaced recently, as he has not lived up to the expectations of a former risng-star. The latter move would certainly shake things up a little.
We have heard reports that sweeping changes are coming. Along the way though it may first be necessary to get some big pieces off the floor. The Bulls cannot afford to screw up the decision on Dunn for a second time.