When the Chicago Bulls decided to reboot their roster and trade Jimmy Butler to Minnesota, they bet on Kris Dunn being their point guard of the future. After a bounce back sophomore season for the Bulls, the question now is, can Dunn lead the Bulls back to the playoffs?
When Kris Dunn was a projected lottery pick back in 2016, the Chicago Bulls were reportedly interested in trying to acquire him. Instead, the Bulls had to wait a year before getting the point guard from Providence in the Jimmy Butler trade. Now after one season under his belt in Chicago, are the Bulls certain that Dunn is the player they hoped he would be? Better yet, can the Bulls answer that they have found their point guard of the future?
Can Dunn improve?
As a whole, the jury is still out on Dunn. After a solid second year, he has proven to be a quality NBA point guard. The uncertainty is how high Dunn’s ceiling is. Can he improve his jump shot? In today’s NBA, teams without a quality shooter at point guard are going to struggle. No one is expecting him to be Steph Curry, but Dunn will need to knock down the open shot when given the opportunity.
As a rookie, Dunn shot a dismal 37% from the field and 28% from downtown. Under Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg, Dunn showed more confidence, knocking down 43% of his shots with 32% from deep. Not great numbers by any stretch of the imagination, but it does demonstrate that Dunn can improve his shot.
The Bulls struggled last season when Dunn wasn’t running the offense. Was this because of his absence or because it meant Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne were in the lineup? In reality, Dunn already is one of the best on-ball defensive guards in the league and his defense can be a catalyst for the offense. The Bulls will be in good hands, if Dunn can improve on his jump shot and efficiently run Hoiberg’s offense.
With Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine providing much of the scoring, Dunn needs to be the playmaker. If he improves his 3 point percentage to between 35-39%, the offense should be okay. It’s important that he forces the defense to respect his shot. As an example, when Jason Kidd was a rookie for Dallas, he shot 27% from downtown and improved that number to 42% late in his career.
Is Trae Young the answer?
There have been reports that the Bulls are excited about Trae Young, the point guard from Oklahoma. This seems strange, mainly because Kris Dunn is still young and establishing himself in Chicago. However, I’m not sure that he has proven enough to keep the Bulls from drafting Young. As an added bonus, Young would bring excitement to the United Center while selling more tickets. I’m sure this is probably what mostly interests ownership anyway.
In the end, I think it’s too early to move away from Dunn. Let him continue to develop and allow his leadership abilities to grow. In my opinion, drafting another young point guard when the team has so many other holes doesn’t seem like the prudent move to make.