Kris Dunn Could Be Perfect Fit in Minnesota

Jun 23, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Kris Dunn (Providence) greets NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number five overall pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 23, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Kris Dunn (Providence) greets NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number five overall pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

After all the intrigue on who the Minnesota Timberwolves would select with their number five pick, the ties to Providence guard Kris Dunn throughout the draft process show to be real.

Last night, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Providence point guard Kris Dunn with their lone selection in the 2016 NBA Draft. Dunn has been rumored to want to land in Minnesota and last night he got his wish.

With most of the first round hinging on what Boston did with their third selection, the Minnesota Timberwolves were forced to sit back and watch until their selection came around to have any idea of who they would be picking. When Boston could not make a trade that included the third pick for an established veteran asset, they decided to go with Jaylen Brown of Cal.

There were a lot of people who thought this was surprising, as most ranked Brown around 7 or 8 in their big boards. This selection did not surprise me at all. I even mocked Brown to the Celtics a few weeks back. It makes sense since the Celtics already have Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Smart in their backcourt and are missing a wing with upside.

There were many that thought Boston would end up dealing this pick away, as Philadelphia and Chicago were in talks to make a move for the pick and in turn select Kris Dunn. Since no deal was able to be made, this opened things up for the Timberwolves, as Phoenix has a similar situation to Boston with multiple established guards in their backcourt.

When the pick came around, the three prospects most discussed to be in play for the Timberwolves were still all on the board(Dunn, Hield, Murray).

With Dunn there, Tom Thibodeau was probably salivating at the mouth. A player with his size, 6’4″ with a 6’9″ wingspan, and defensive ability is the perfect point guard for a Thibodeau run system.

With trades not able to be established with Boston, the phones were lighting up at for the Timberwolves, as Philadelphia was still trying to make a deal to get Dunn. The rumored deal was for Nerlens Noel, Robert Covington, and the number 24 and 26 pick of the first round. That deal was not enough for Thibodeau to part with Dunn, but a deal involving Rubio and Philly could be in the future.

On the other hand, the Timberwolves after making the pick were reportedly still trying to make a deal for Bulls star Jimmy Butler. Thibodeau has been set on a reunion with Butler since becoming the Timberwolves head coach. Throughout the first hour, after the Timberwolves made their pick, it seemed as if there was a real chance of a deal being made.

As the night went on, though, and no news of an official agreement made, it seemed as if the trade was not going to happen. Maybe Thibodeau was not offering enough, or maybe the Bulls did not want to surrender to a complete rebuild and trade away Butler as well as Rose, who they traded the day before to New York.

It looks like Thibodeau was offering the fifth pick, Dunn, and Rubio for Butler. Chicago wanted a package of Dunn and Lavine. Thibodeau must have thought that price was too high. Lavine’s ceiling is high, especially as he is barely 21 years old. Add Dunn to that and that cost was a little high for Butler in Thibodeau’s eyes.

Most thought that Andrew Wiggins had to be part of any deal involving Butler. Most thought that Thibodeau would part with Lavine and the pick to net Butler in return. This shows what Thibodeau thinks of Lavine and Dunn.

There were rumors that Thibodeau was pushing the buttons of the Chicago front office, with no intention of making a deal at all. The two sides ended on bad terms when Thibodeau left Chicago.

In selecting Dunn, who many compare to John Wall and saw as the third best player in the draft, that says something about what the Timberwolves new front office thinks of their current point guard situation.

Dunn is the type of talent to be able to push Rubio, an experienced guard, for the starting job sooner than later. Rubio will most likely stay around for at least this year, barring a trade at the deadline, and keep his spot as the starter. When asked about how Dunn and Rubio will fit together, Thibodeau was quoted saying that “they can play together.”

Dunn has many important strengths that one needs to become an elite point guard in the league. With his amazing physical tools and size, Dunn will be able to guard 1’s and 2’s at the next level and some small forwards. His elite length will allow him to step into passing lanes. Dunn averaged 2.5 steals per game last season.

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Dunn has the playmaking  ability that will fit this team nicely. His ability in the pick and roll game and pick and pop game will be a nice fit with the Timberwolves current roster. Dunn can drive to the rim and either finish himself or dump it off to Towns to make the play. Dunn is dynamic in transition. Dunn plays quick, and above the rim. He has the potential to be an elite scorer and slasher. Dunn can stop on a dime and switch directions.

Dunn has the tools to be a lockdown defender. He can navigate screens very well. He has the elite quickness to stay in front of smaller, quicker guards. Dunn can anticipate the play very well, leading to his high average of steals.

One of the key weaknesses that Dunn displays is his career 22.4 turnover percentage. With the Timberwolves in the bottom of the league in turnover percentage last year, this is one facet of his game he must improve. He also has a low FG% around the rim. He needs to take better shots in high percentage areas.

Sometimes Dunn settles for off balance, and highly contested shots. Dunn will need to slow his game down and set his feet and take good shots or kick it out if the shot is not there.

Dunn has an inconsistent shot. His mechanics vary from shot to shot. Sometimes you will see him pull up and make the defense pay with a beautiful shot, and others he is just throwing something up. He tends to shoot the ball hard. His career FT% is 69%, along with a 35% three-point shot.

Dunn often gambles on the defensive side of the ball, looking for the steal and the big play, in turn leaving his teammates out to dry. Dunn commits a lot of fouls on the defensive end also, reaching trying to knock the ball loose.

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Overall, Dunn is going to be a good addition to the young Minnesota Timberwolves. Hopefully, he can learn a lot from Rubio while he is still here. He will need to polish some parts of his game, but that will come in time.