The Chicago Bulls picked Coby White with the 7th pick in the 2019 NBA draft. They also signed point guards Tomas Satoransky and Ryan Arcidiacono. What does this mean for Kris Dunn?
Chicago Bulls point guard Kris Dunn’s stint with the team may be over soon. There are however some valid reasons to hold onto him at least until the trade deadline.
Coby White did not greatly impress in Summer League. He will need to improve his 3 point shooting and reduce his turnovers. Until then, it will be difficult to earn significant minutes in Jim Boylen’s rotation.
Dunn who likes the ball in his hands and plays excellent defense, would be the sensible choice to start the season as backup point guard. Newly resigned Arcidiacono, who has the trust of Boylen, may be joining him in the back court on that second team.
The Bulls are in no hurry to rush White. They now have Tomas Satoransky to run the first team and to facilitate the growth of their last two first round picks, Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter.
Kris Dunn, as a top defender, is a commodity that is hard to come by in today’s “they pay me to score” (thank you Jabari) NBA. He will push Coby White to get better in practice. In the closing minutes of a quarter the Chicago Bulls can bring him in as a defensive stopper.
When running the point, Dunn’s biggest weakness is stepping back to hit a three on a pick and roll but he pretty much can get to any spot on the floor within 20 feet. He has perfected the tear drop. If surrounded by shooters he can distribute fairly well.
Denzel Valentine, Arcidiacono, Thad Young and Daniel Gafford, would round out a pretty formidable small ball second unit. The leader would be Young who is a strong defender and rebounder, thus taking some pressure off Dunn. Arcidiacono and Valentine could both handle the ball as needed.
Speaking of Valentine, who can be sure that he will ever get back to the potential he displayed before undergoing serious ankle surgery? He has had 3 surgeries in three seasons! He isn’t exactly the type of player the Chicago Bulls can count on.
His backup would naturally be Chandler Hutchinson. After seeing the disappointing performance he put in at Summer League, one might wonder if it makes more sense to find a way for Dunn to be out there. If neither Valentine or Hutch step up, Dunn could become valuable in a small ball lineup where Satoransky would play small forward.
It is well documented that Kris Dunn has overcome difficult challenges in life. The fans in Chicago were behind him at the start of the 2018-19 season and could jump on his bandwagon again. Same goes for NBA teams looking to shore up their point guard position.
His trade value is presently low. Dunn falling out of favor with Coach Boylen last season, missing significant time due to injury, the Bulls drafting Coby White, signing Satoransky and Arcidiacono send a message to the league that Dunn is there for the taking. But, there is no pressing need to sell low right now.
This could be a break or make year for a player so many Chicago Bulls fans were once excited about. Let’s see if Coach Boylen and his staff can figure out how to maximize Kris Dunn’s strengths and improve his weaknesses. If they can, the Chicago Bulls may have a candidate for the Most Improved Player Of The Year.