Chicago Bulls: Kris Dunn meets starter criteria for offer sheet

Kris Dunn, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Kris Dunn, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bulls could be set to lose the former Providence point guard Kris Dunn if they don’t want to hand him starter level money this offseason.

There’s a lot of decisions that the new-look Chicago Bulls front office regime will have to make this offseason concerning their young guards. A number of them are set to hit the restricted free agent market if the Bulls don’t do anything to either re-sign them ahead of time or match their offer sheet early on.

And the most significant of those guards that is set to hit restricted free agency if the Bulls don’t hand him a contract extension now is 6-foot-4 defensive stopper point guard Kris Dunn. The former Providence Friar and top five pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2016 NBA Draft did receive some good news for his wallet, though, on June 23.

According to a report from ESPN’s Bobby Marks on his Twitter timeline on Tuesday morning, Dunn is set to receive a qualifying offer at a baseline of starter qualifications. Dunn received a prorated starter qualification for the last two years for the Bulls since he was often injured. He will now receive a baseline salary of $7.1 million in restricted free agency instead of $4.6 million.

In the season that was for the Bulls, Dunn played in 51 games (starting in 32 of them). He had a knee injury end his season back in January. And since the Bulls won’t be competing in the NBA’s 22-team resumption, with games planned to start on July 31 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL, Dunn’s season was over in mid-March anyway.

In those 51 games Dunn played in this season, he averaged 7.3 points per game, 3.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, a whopping 2.0 steals, and 0.3 blocks. He shot 44.4 percent from the field, 25.9 percent from beyond the arc, and 74.1 percent from the free-throw line. That amounted to an effective field goal percentage of 48.7 and a career-best 51.0 true shooting percentage.

The value that Dunn really brings to the table for the Bulls is with his defensive ability. He registered a stellar 3.1 defensive box plus/minus rating this season with the Bulls, to go along with 2.0 defensive win shares and a 106 defensive rating. Dunn also led the NBA in steal rate this season, at 3.8 percent.

The real decision as to if the Bulls bring back Dunn rests on his price tag and the defensive need in the guard rotation. There are other capable defensive guards that the Bulls could bring back or sign in free agency, like combo guards Shaquille Harrison and Tomas Satoransky. Granted Satoransky will still be on the books for two more years starting next season.

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A few other notable guards that are set to hit the free agent market this offseason on the Bulls roster includes Harrison and shooting guard Denzel Valentine. Two-way contracted guards like Adam Mokoka and Max Strus are set to do the same.