Kris Dunn had a disappointing rookie season for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
When the Timberwolves drafted Kris Dunn, it was a bit of a surprise, but also an easy choice. Dunn was looked as maybe the most pro ready player after playing four seasons at Providence.
During his final two seasons, Dunn averaged 15.5 plus points, six-plus assists, and five-plus rebounds per game- he looked as sure thing as there is.
Now the surprise part was that this was a pick that appeared to mean the Wolves were ready to move on from Ricky Rubio.
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The Spaniard has been a key cog in the rebuilding of the franchise, but his shooting woes have warranted looking at other options.
Only thing is that the plan didn’t go exactly as anticipated. Dunn was anything but ready to be a starter in the league and underachieved on most levels. He averaged 3.8 points, 2.4 assists, and 2.1 rebounds per game.
Coming in as a good candidate for rookie of the year and ending the season averaging less than 20 minutes a game is the definition of a busted season.
Now, Kris Dunn showed some bright spots towards the end of the year- flashy passes and defense that had never been questioned. But Minnesota will have to answer if they really see Dunn progressing enough to be apart of the championship run the franchise is gearing up to start in a couple years.
Towards the end of the season, coach Tom Thibodeau decided he wanted to try to roll with a two point guard lineup.
After Zach LaVine got hurt, he was able to do this due to bad shooting guard play.
Having another point guard on the floor looked to lift weights off Dunn’s shoulders. If it has to do with the complexity of an NBA system or just the pressure of running an NBA team in your rookie season, Dunn had a bigger impact on the game when someone else was helping run the offense.
The Rubio and Dunn lineup flourished mainly because of Rubio’s hot second half of a season. He was as hot as he has ever been in his career, (shooting wise) and this helped develop Dunn.
As hard as it is to pull anything from one certain game in the marathon of an NBA season, Dunn put an exclamation point on a disappointing season in the finale.
Minnesota played a Houston team that was not resting anyone. Kris Dunn started and as Rubio sat, he dished out 16 assists.
Kris had never even had a double digit assist game the entire year. He is already the best defending guard on the team and the entire team is young.
Dunn will have a full offseason to now work with the team as he now knows tendencies of each player, something quite important for the leader of a basketball squad.
Rookie season grade: D+
With high expectations, Dunn failed to live up to them. If you just look at the numbers I would’ve given him an F. But with obvious improvement even from game 41 to game 82, there is some optimism.
If Dunn is able to contribute as a defender and improve his playmaking and ability to make jump shots, the Timberwolves will have a good shot at making the playoffs next year.
This upcoming draft will say a lot about the Timberwolves’ front office opinion on the point guard out of Providence.