Where does Kris Dunn stack up against the league’s top point guards?

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 23: Kris Dunn /

Chicago Bulls point guard Kris Dunn has had a really good season so far. Is he one of the best point guards in the league?

Coming into the league by way of Providence, Kris Dunn was hyped up as an elite defender, who could get to the basket at will, control the pace at the professional level. That’s what led the Minnesota Timberwolves to take Dunn with the 5th pick in the 2016 NBA draft. Dunn’s lone season in Minnesota wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows however, as he never seemed to live up to the standard that he set for himself in college. That has all seemed to change this season, as he has gone from coming off the bench, to starting, to becoming arguably the heart and soul of this young Chicago Bulls team.

For Bulls’ fans, we feel like Dunn is playing excellent basketball, and that may be true, but for me, it begs the question, how does Dunn compare to the likes of Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook? I decided to take a dive down the analytical worm hole to find out.

Let’s go ahead and start on the defensive end, Dunn’s specialty. He currently sits in the top four in steals per game 2.0 , behind Paul George, Westbrook and Chris Paul. Now obviously, Westbrook and Paul don’t really have to play as much defense as Dunn does, being superstars and what not, so the steals per game stat doesn’t seem all that impressive right?

Dunn’s on-ball defense has been front and center in his second season. He can shut down opposing point guards, or at least make them less effective. His on-ball ability has been very noticeable so far this season.

Kris hasn’t been able to shut down big name point guards like Westbrook, Irving or Curry just yet, but his anticipation and quickness on defense has been phenomenal more often than not. Of course, this is just the early portion of his second year, so it wouldn’t really be fair to expect him to stop potential top 10 guys just yet, I mean, who else is doing it?

On the offensive end, comparing Dunn to Westbrook, Paul and Curry is pretty tough to do. He isn’t as explosive as Westbrook, he isn’t quite as savvy with the ball as Paul is. Nobody shoots the rock like Curry does, but that doesn’t take away from how much Dunn has improved on the offense.

Kris Dunn is having a bounce back season

We’ve seen a new, improved and more confident Kris Dunn. His PPG average is up 10 points from last season, and the man is radiating confidence so far this year. His ability to recover from tough games has been extremely impressive. He had a tough game against the Celtics, tallying just two points. He held his head up, and came to practice with that “on to the next one” mentality.

In a similar situation, Dunn had a tough game against the Thunder in mid November, and bounced back two days later, scoring 22 points against the Hornets. His mentality after tough games is awesome, especially with this young roster, where it can be super easy to hang your head after a tough night.

Dunn has even began to proudly wear the “closer” label for this young group, as head coach Fred Hoiberg tends to run a lot of pick and roll plays down the stretch. Hoiberg has trust in his young point guard to make a smart play with the basketball.

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Despite a much improved mid-range jump shot, and an incredible ability to use his quickness to finish at the rim, Dunn isn’t quite yet an elite offensive player. One thing for sure is that Dunn will continue to improve.

Now, reading the title of this, I’m sure you were expecting me to find some way to tie him to the top 5 or so point guards, but he’s just not quite there yet. His steady improvement on the offensive end, and his commitment on the defensive end makes him a rare gem at the point guard position in today’s NBA, and I think things can only go up for the Bulls’ young floor general.