Kris Dunn is a dynamic, galvanic point guard from Providence who is a coveted top-tier college player. Averaging 16.4 points, 6.2 assists, and 2.5 steals his junior year, Dunn’s statistics at Providence put him at the top of the 2016 draft class. His ceiling looks tall, but there are palpable problem areas in his game that will be capitalized on by players in the NBA: mercurial iso-plays, impatient passing, and rash offensive pacing. However, Dunn has proven to be an offensive threat.
His box score numbers are superficially even keeled. His efficiency devalues his stats. He shoots below 40% from the three-point arc and his free throwing percentage does not crack 70%. Additionally, he averaged 3.5 turnovers his junior season. Dunn misuses his acrobatic athleticism, persistently challenging double teams, and even triple teams when he sets foot in the paint. This then leads Dunn to commit wasted turnovers. His offensive game is erratic and reckless, which mars Dunn’s efficiency rating. Perhaps this is the patterned onus for explosive point guards.
Dunn emulates other guards such as Russell Westbrook or John Wall, who had (and still have) the same problem coming into the draft. Wall and Westbrook averaged nearly the same amount of turnovers as Dunn. Dunn must learn to harness his ball handling to a smoother rhythm. Too often he bolts down the court and faces defenders head on. Overall, however, Dunn’s transition game is an absolute nightmare for defenders. He is the tinder and spark to the fast break but cannot fully execute, leaving his trailing teammates and alienating corner shooters. Flashiness over substance is Dunn’s kryptonite. This does not detract from his phenomenal court vision.
Dunn is a floor general who plays extremely well at a composed pace and executes smart, fluid passes when he is not trying to blow past and bulldoze multiple defenders off a loose ball. Though there are considerable flaws to his offensive game which can be overcome through coaching and experience in the league, his defense is first-rate.
The Providence graduate is a smart defensive player, always light on his feet to pickpocket players and maintaining jurisdiction over passing lanes. Dunn dials in for unrelenting defense, constantly putting his opponent under duress, regardless of pick and rolls. Whether he goes over or goes under a screen, the Providence player pressures by cutting off lanes and preventing easy shots. His athletic frame demands attention.
Kris Dunn ranks fourth in the NCAA 2016 season for most steals, and his combination of IQ and athleticism is a bold bullet point for NBA teams lacking a fundamental guard.
There are many ways to utilize the potential number one point guard in the draft, including a three-man guard rotation. This affirms and elevates the modern era of small ball.
The Suns could be effective with Dunn running a three-guard roster alongside Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe. It could be a massive threat to the Western Conference. Another team that will benefit from Dunn’s game is the Boston Celtics. Coming off the bench for Isiah Thomas ignites another weapon for high-speed offense.
Kris Dunn would be a gift to many teams because of his high motor, court vision, and vigorous defense. The only unwise move is placing Dunn with another young, budding point guard. The high-caliber player needs experience running the floor and exercising some form of offensive freedom.
A great example of how Dunn needs to develop is Emmanuel Mudiay. The Nuggets lottery pick rookie played with seasoned point guards, Jameer Nelson and D.J. Augustin. They guided him through the point guard subtleties and nuances. Mudiady was on the second team NBA All-Rookie squad. A nice blueprint for Kris Dunn to emulate.
photo via llananba