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Free Agent Profile: Kris Dunn

The free agent profile series continues with Kris Dunn of the Chicago Bulls.

Sacramento is entering a new era of Kings basketball following the hire of Monte McNair as general manager. With free agency coming soon, I'll be profiling potential targets with film breakdowns. This piece focuses on point guard Kris Dunn.

Player info: Kris Dunn, 26, PG, 6'3", four-year veteran, former Chicago Bulls player, RFA

2019-20 stats: 51 games, 24.9 minutes, 7.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.0 steals (second in the league), 44 FG%, 26 3P%

Fit in Sacramento: At 26, Dunn is an intriguing prospect because of his age and status as the 5th overall pick in the 2016 draft. After a season that saw Dunn play fewer minutes because of Tomas Satoransky and Coby White coming in, Dunn’s value has likely dipped. To what extent? I don’t know. If Sacramento signs Dunn with Cory Joseph still on the team, Dunn’s skill set becomes redundant. Dunn hasn’t developed his offensive game beyond scoring at the rim, but he’s a menacing defender that could make it a worthwhile gamble. Let’s dive into the film:

Finishing at the rim

 

Dunn’s best offensive asset, at least in this season, was finishing at the basket. Factoring his inability to shoot efficiently from anywhere else on the court, it’s a plus that he’s effective in at least one area; however, that can make him easy to defend.

Nonetheless, Dunn’s ability to attack the paint has much to do with his 6’9” wingspan aiding his 6’3” frame. He can penetrate with ease, it’s just a matter of making the right decision when the opportunity arrives; Dunn has improved that this season. 

Within four feet of the basket, Dunn has finished on 65% of his attempts, placing him in the 84th percentile, per Cleaning the Glass. His highest percentile prior to this season was just 32. 

Let’s look at the clip: Terrence Ross backs off of Dunn upon the catch, but invites the screen which frees up a path for Dunn. If Ross backs into the screen, he forces Dunn to drive left. Instead, Dunn drives on Nikola Vucevic and attempts his favorite layup: the scoop.  

 

Here’s another play from the same game: Dunn’s screen forces the switch, leading to a defensive miscommunication for Orlando. Dunn is one-on-one against Vucevic and attempts another scooped layup. 

 

The dribble hand-off allows Dunn to reset his positioning, but Duncan Robinson recovers nicely. Dunn shields his way to another scooped layup, but it rolls off the rim. 

Steals:

 

Dunn ranks second in the league in steals per game with 2.0, just behind Ben Simmons, who averages 2.1 steal per game. Dunn possesses two key traits that are a deadly combination: active hands with an anticipating mind. He’s always one step ahead of the play, so if you’re dribbling or passing around him, be vigilant. 

Lonzo Ball beats Satoransky with ease, but doesn’t have the intent of shooting. He spots a potential kick-out to Brandon Ingram, so he throws the wraparound pass. However, Dunn also noticed Ingram leaking into the corner and jumped the pass. That’s next-level IQ play. 

 

Dunn’s steal percentage of 3.4 this season is a career high; that’s good enough for the 98th percentile, per Cleaning the Glass. Throughout his career, Dunn has never placed below the 92nd percentile. He’s efficient and effective on that end. 

Chicago was also in the 92nd percentile in points allowed per possession with Dunn on the floor, enjoying a -6.8 mark.  

Assists:

 

Dunn’s assist numbers are down across the board from assists per game to assist percentages. The amount of ball-handling guards in Chicago certainly factors into Dunn’s decline in production in that regard. The last two seasons saw Dunn average 6.0 APG, but that figure dipped to 3.4 in about five fewer minutes a game. 

This play features a simple pick-and-roll that New Orleans defends awfully. 

 

Dunn’s assist percentage of 29 last year placed him in the 89th percentile. This season, that percentage fell to 20.1%, sorting him in the 12th percentile (both stats per Cleaning the Glass). Here’s the interesting part: his assist-to-usage ratio this season, 1.22, is actually the same number he recorded last year. The difference is that he’s sharing the ball more with others, but he still involved his teammates while touching the ball less. 

This play breaks down, but Zach LaVine cuts backdoor for a huge slam. Dunn’s patience to pick out a pass rather than attempt a tough fadeaway late in the shot clock is key. 

Assisting wasn’t an enormous strength for him, but Dunn’s drive-and-kick factor could help the Kings.

Three-point shooting:

 

One thing’s for sure: you can absolutely live with Dunn shooting from deep. Dunn’s never boasted a high-volume shot from three, but in a league where shooting is as imperative as ever, Dunn doesn’t have it. And since Dunn is a point guard, that adds more salt to the wound. 

Last season, Dunn hit on 35.4% of his triples on 2.1 attempts. On 2.2 attempts this season, that number tumbled to 25.9. His catch-and-shoot percentage, 26.3, which makes up 1.9 of those attempts, isn’t adequate either. 

When Dunn catches the ball, there’s no effort from Charlotte to close out. If they close out, Dunn can attack the paint and that’s what you don’t want. It’s like when you’re playing basketball at the rec and someone yells, “Let him shoot!” That’s how teams treat Dunn. 

 

Here’s another important note: Dunn doesn’t have one hot spot from deep. He’s dreadful from anywhere beyond the arc. Dunn’s 3P% on all threes ranks him in the 9th percentile, according to Cleaning the Glass. Just last season, he sat in the 54th percentile on all threes. 

Here’s Bruce Brown Jr. giving Dunn a soft close out. Brown first backs towards the rim but closes out when Dunn actually shoots. That’s how defenses need to approach him; you should contest, but you don’t need to be aggressive. 

 

When Dunn plants himself after the catch, he needs to spot-up and shoot that. Draymond Green leaves him plenty of room. But because Dunn can’t shoot, he decides to attack Draymond at the rim - not a good idea. 

Fouls:

 

Dunn also fouls too frequently for a backup role. His 3.1 fouls a game would be second-most on the Kings (min. 20 games played). Per 36 minutes, that amounts to 4.5 fouls a game. That steep of a number can mess up a team’s rotation and game plan, among other things. 

But because of his over-aggressive nature on defense, the constant fouling comes with the package. If he’s not as aggressive sometimes, the fouls stay down. If he controls his aggressiveness, he’ll experience major improvements. 

Final Verdict:

If Cory Joseph isn’t a King, then Dunn makes sense. As an RFA, he may come with a higher price tag (or use the MLE) unless the Bulls decide to move on and let White play more minutes. Billy Donovan’s roster plan will probably factor into Dunn returning to Chicago as well. 

Dunn’s age is a better fit for the timeline, he can run and become arguably the best defender on the team. However, his inability to space the floor could become an issue, unless Monte McNair decides that’s a risk worth gambling for. But again, it depends on Joseph’s status; by adding Dunn alongside Fox and Joseph, you have three point guards who can’t shoot (Fox’s regression is something to watch). Eventually, the lack of shooters and playmaking from the backups could come back and bite Sacramento. 

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eddie41
1 month ago

No point in signing him. Cory Joseph is good. So is Bogi. A 4th pg can be picked in the 2nd round. Look at this pg depth: Ball, Hayes, Haliburton, Lewis, Jones, Riller, Flynn, Anthony, Hampton, Winston, Mannion, plus others. Then there are undersized shooting guards like Maxey, Terry, Ramsey, Joe, plus others. I also personally like Nate Hinton as a guy who can be groomed to play like Cory Joseph. There are more possibilities with a point forward like Naji Marshall, who is currently my vote for the #12 pick.

BestHyperboleEver
1 month ago
Reply to  eddie41

Cory isn’t very good and is well overpaid. I’m not championing acquiring Dunn. But if they were able to unload Joseph without giving up assets, then Dunn could be a decent, cheap upgrade on Joseph’s role.

eddie41
1 month ago

If Joseph plays next to Hield and two 3&D guys and a rim runner, that’s asking too much of him on offense. Put more playmakers on the floor and Joseph is a glue guy. Plays D, rebounds, team player, competitive, winner.

BestHyperboleEver
1 month ago
Reply to  eddie41

He plays some D. He doesn’t rebound well, even for a guard. Literally the only guys that rebounded worse than Joseph this year were Yogi and Kyle Guy. He’s.a fine guy to have on the roster on the cheap that can give you some non-painful minutes at guard.

Wonderchild
1 month ago

He plays best as a SG next to Fox, but that back court is a bit undersized. I think he best playing with a high usage point forward or some other kind of wing creator.

BestHyperboleEver
1 month ago
Reply to  Wonderchild

Undersized and under spaced. He would absolutely be best in a situation like you and Eddie describe. But he would still be well overpaid, and still be non-impactful. I mean, are we really trying to figure out ways to maximize Cory Joseph?

eddie41
1 month ago

Okay, then Nate Hinton can replace him in year two. Save $10 million. All enabled with point forward Naji Marshall, point guard Bogdanovic, and if possible, point center Giles. Better than throwing money at more free agents.

BestHyperboleEver
1 month ago
Reply to  eddie41

Who’s suggesting throwing money at FAs? Like I said, IF you could move Joseph without having to give up assets AND you felt the need to fill the back-up “decent G defender/negative offensive” back-up PG role AND then signing Dunn on the cheap could be a decent option.

Wonderchild
1 month ago

I think we’re in agreement. I was just saying CoJo isn’t a traditional PG and should never be relied on to run an offense.

eddie41
1 month ago

I suppose with Coronavirus impacting revenue, if the team needs to find a place to reduce salary closer to the minimum, i would much rather let Cory Joseph go than Bogi or Giles. Some team might be willing to use a trade exception to get him. However, I do think some backups can be found in the second round, and having a point forward like Naji Marshall (perhaps the only one in the draft) would really help with roster construction and the ability to take fliers on guys like Nate Hinton.

Kosta
1 month ago

Sanjesh, the Kings should hire you to be their video coordinator.

(of course your awesome work might go unnoticed by Walton)

BestHyperboleEver
1 month ago
Reply to  SanjeshSingh

And it only took 13 years from getting that position to coaching a playoff team!

Sooooo, yeah, fewer years than it’s taken the Kings to make the playoffs.

ScottyPop
1 month ago

I actually like the idea of Dunn. He was looking better offensively a couple years ago before getting hurt. Since coming back from injury he hasn’t played as much. I think he’d be an upgrade of Joseph.

BestHyperboleEver
1 month ago
Reply to  SanjeshSingh

If, of course, you feel the need to have an all-D, no-O backup PG. In general, I wouldn’t call the CoJo role an especially important one to fill.

9sac8
1 month ago

FULL MONTE!!!

Buddy, Bagley, CoJo for LaVine, Markkanen and Dunn?????

Who says no????!!!!!

BestHyperboleEver
1 month ago
Reply to  9sac8

Everyone. Everyone says no.

But the Bulls do it the most loudly.

9sac8
1 month ago

There he is! 🤣

9sac8
1 month ago

So not a chance at all? That could be good for both teams. That is about as even as a trade can get. We get a play maker 2 guard, a better suited PF for our team and provides spacing, along with a beast at backup PG.

Donovan can work with Buddy, Bags, and CoJo. I think the excel under him. I BET they excel under him.

With all that said, Walton has to go.

BestHyperboleEver
1 month ago
Reply to  9sac8

You basically have the Bulls just trading for the worse, more expensive versions of what they’re sending us.

9sac8
1 month ago

Yes. That would be correct. We’ve helped teams countless times…mostly by force. Fuck that, it’s a new era.

Otis
1 month ago
Reply to  9sac8

Man, do I NOT want to have to watch LaVine for 82 games per season.

9sac8
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

You will in a Kings jersey when we have the most athletic backcourt in the league.

Otis
1 month ago
Reply to  9sac8

And we’ll win 30 games.

Wonderchild
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

And with the 7th pick in the 2021 NBA draft, the Kings select…

9sac8
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

After playing 37 games. Pretty decent record.

Otis
1 month ago
Reply to  9sac8

comment image

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

That’s fine. We are likely to not see an 82 game season anytime soon.

Otis
1 month ago
Reply to  Adamsite

I will clarify…I do NOT want to watch LaVine for 82, or 8, or 2 games per season.

9sac8
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

In a Kings jersey you will!

Loyalty…and addiction. You’ll watch and so will I!

Kosta
1 month ago
Reply to  9sac8

Plus, we’re all cuckoo
comment image

LadyGrey
1 month ago
Reply to  Kosta

I just drove by the psychiatric hospital where they filmed this. Totally fun fact: it’s the Oregon State Hospital. I wonder how many Kings diehards are inside. Poor souls.

Otis
1 month ago
Reply to  9sac8

I’m marginally loyal at this point.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

I’m no fan of LaVine either, especially on the defensive end, but I have to admit, he’d be a fun pairing in an uptempo offense alongside Fox.

The thing I do like about LaVine is his ability to pass the ball, but that’s about all I like about him. In many ways I think he is a a bit like Booker. Give him a solid PG next to him and I think he improves.

Otis
1 month ago
Reply to  Adamsite

He’s a bit like Booker like I’m a bit like Brad Pitt.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

I think the numbers disagree a bit. I just did a side by side of last season, and they aren’t too far off.

LINK

Otis
1 month ago
Reply to  Adamsite

50 points of true shooting percentage at high volume ain’t nothing.

And one of those players’ teams was significantly better with him on the floor, and the other…well, not so much.

Otis
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

Booker, 32nd in RPM. LaVine – 180th (right behind Dwight Howard).

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

I’m not going to go down the rabbit hole of PER vs RPM, but one could see other advanced stats as on par or even have some with LaVine as better. My point is, the are more alike than they are dissimilar when it comes to type of play and role on the team.

Otis
1 month ago
Reply to  Adamsite

No offense, but not sure anyone sees those as equivalent metrics any longer.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

Really? I’d think both are equally valuable. One is better at minutes played and is less team data driven while the other is better and winning percentage and is more team data driven. I would think they each have their advantages and disadvantages.

Otis
1 month ago
Reply to  Adamsite

Sorry, I’m confused. You’d say PER and RPM are equally valuable? Or LaVine and Booker?

Neither stat should be solely used to make judgments on players, but I don’t even really look at PER anymore.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

PER and RPM, not LaVine and Booker. But I’m not looking at just those 2 indicators. My point was comparing a bunch of advanced stats to get the better picture. That is where I see they are a bit similar players.

BestHyperboleEver
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

Eh, I mean, there’s a reasonable comparison there. They’re both 6’5ish SGs/secondary ballhandlers. Lavine is 24, Booker is 23. They’re both poor defenders. They’re both high usage scorers that pass a bit. Their basic approach to the game and style of impact are similar. Bookers advantage in efficiency (both shooting and passing) obviously make him the better version overall, but I don’t think saying Lavine is “a bit like Booker” is out of line.

Now, that’s not to say I like Lavine or especially want him on the Kings.

Last edited 1 month ago by BestHyperboleEver
Otis
1 month ago

It’s out of line if you go anywhere below the surface (IMMHO).

Otis
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

Which actually ruins my Brad Pitt analogy – drats.

BestHyperboleEver
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

Sure. That’s why he’s only “a bit” like Booker.

RikSmits
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

Didn’t Brad Pitt kickstart his career by winning an Otis look-alike contest? Or am I remembering it wrong?

Otis
1 month ago
Reply to  RikSmits

This is NOT fake news.

9sac8
1 month ago
Reply to  Adamsite

Not because I totally agree with you. I would like to add, I think a change of scenery would work wonders for all in involved.

With that said, Walton has to go.

BestHyperboleEver
1 month ago
Reply to  Adamsite

I think the big question with Lavine, as is often the case with high usage guys on bad teams, is if you can get him to embrace and execute a more team-focused, secondary role. If you could convince him to move off the ball more (both as a cutter and a shooter), move the ball faster, and at least dial in on defense even if he’s never going to be a good defender, then he could be really interesting and his contract would suddenly look pretty nice. Would he be willing and able to make that mentality shift? I have no idea.

Otis
1 month ago

I think you’d be buying high on him, last year wasn’t quite as terrible as normal. So you’d end up with another Barnes IMO (a marginal talent making higher-end money).

BestHyperboleEver
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

Oh, I agree. I’ve said as much multiple times when talking about what I think the Bulls should do (sell high on Lavine). I don’t want the Kings to trade for him.

That said, if given the completely dichotomous and insular choice of having taking him or Hield. Like. if somebody said, you can trade Hield for Lavine straight up and you can’t make any other moves this offseason. I would take Lavine because he’s a better playmaker than Hield and his contract is shorter and smaller.

Last edited 1 month ago by BestHyperboleEver
Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

He would need to make a Rudy type shift in roles. Sac Rudy was much better than Toronto Rudy, and S.A. Rudy is much better than Sac Rudy. It would take LaVine buying in to a reduction of usage. If he could do that, he’d be a much better team player.

To the point of his contract, I really don’t think it is that bad. He’d be cheaper and younger than Buddy, but you are right to point out having his deal AND Barnes’ deal would not be ideal.

BestHyperboleEver
1 month ago
Reply to  Adamsite

Though slightly more ideal than having Buddy deal AND Barnes’ deal.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
1 month ago

Yeah, I agree with that. Another advantage to LaVine is his ability to play 3 positions, while Buddy is limited to one…except in Walton’s eyes.

Otis
1 month ago
Reply to  Adamsite

I think I’d rather just keep Buddy than take LaVine. I think he’s fool’s gold, and I don’t know about spending that much on a guy expecting he’ll change into a more team oriented player.

But in a perfect world, you move Buddy for assets and not end up with LaVine.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

Agreed. I’d take that last route as well.

BestHyperboleEver
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

Absolutely. Like I said, I’m not actually advocating for the Kings acquiring Lavine.

9sac8
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

Barnes is gone in a separate deal. Maybe Philly bites for Barnes and a 2nd for Richardson. Solid SF. I’m wondering can FULL MONTE get Oubre Jr here 🤔 🤔 🤔

This all is pending the Bulls trade.

Last edited 1 month ago by 9sac8
9sac8
1 month ago

Jordan had to do it when Phil showed up. So if the greatest basketball player ever ( behind Chris Webber) can buy in, I think LaVine can and would make us more of a threat. Fox and LaVine on the schedule sounds scary.

Otis
1 month ago
Reply to  9sac8

Yeah, I’m not convinced people would be shaking in their shoes:
comment image

9sac8
1 month ago
Reply to  Otis

Stats are forbidden

ZillersCat
1 month ago
Reply to  Adamsite

Umm Booker is over LaVine and Cojo is over Dunn?
comment image

Wonderchild
1 month ago

I’d prefer getting a 3rd PG from the draft, allowing McNair the flexibility to move Joseph at the deadline and not duplicating roles too much.

But like others say, if he can move Joseph this offseason, Dunn could be a much cheaper replacement.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
1 month ago
Reply to  Wonderchild

I agree. Where I do like Dunn, over say the last profile of Napier, is his ability to defend two positions. He’s basically a younger and faster version of Joseph, and would likely be cheaper. I think he could also run the offense a bit better than Joseph. He may not be able shott from range but his ability to attack the paint and dish our to shooters is a plus. It would all come down to who was on the court with him.

eddie41
1 month ago

I hope you all realize that CoJo can be released after this year, shaving $10 million off the payroll. That means the only way to trade him AND save money now would be for a trade exception. Unless I’m missing something.

RORDOG
1 month ago
Reply to  eddie41

if a team’s payroll is below the salary cap, then they can trade for a player without sending any salary back as long as the player’s salary does not push their total salary over the salary cap.

eddie41
1 month ago
Reply to  RORDOG

Thanks Rordog. That’s good to know. In that case, it might make sense to get a cheaper FA option (maybe Dunn, I don’t know) than Cory Joseph, saving money. As a fan, I’d prefer Joseph one more year because we can still keep Bogi and Giles and stay under the cap. However if the owners are in a financial pinch, I wouldn’t cry over a Dunn for Joseph swap.

1 month ago

I’ve always liked Dunn mainly on his defensive prowess. The guy is a stud on defense. I think for the right price he’s be a decent asset with good upside

Klam
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
1 month ago

Heh. Of course.

Kosta
1 month ago
Reply to  Klam

NEW PHONE WHO DIS

RORDOG
1 month ago
Reply to  Klam

Buddy has Benjamin Button Personality disorder. He seems to age rapidly while simultaneously becoming more childish.

RikSmits
1 month ago
Reply to  RORDOG

Yeah. Didn’t Vlade crowe “Character matters” after trading for him?

He seemed like a hardworking humble kid coming in. Got spoiled and started believing his own hype? The way he acted around his contract negotiations was a red flag.

I’d say trade him to Basketball He- oops.

RORDOG
1 month ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Something weird happened to Buddy, and I don’t really know what that is. He used to be such a fun dude. My issue with him is that I doubt his thought process is “if only Walton would realize I’m most effective in a limited role. The key to unlocking my potential is to make me strictly a catch and shoot guy, while hiding me on defense.”

Jman1949
1 month ago
Reply to  Klam

And to think just a year ago Buddy was raving about how easy it was to connect with Luke!

SelecaoKOJ
1 month ago

Rather trade Hield/Holmes/or Bagley for Kendrick Nunn, Derrick Jones, Kyle Alexander,Kelly Olynk(1 year left on deal) and Heat’s 2021 pick unprotected.

richie88
1 month ago
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

I believe Derrick Jones will be a FA.

Last edited 1 month ago by richie88
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[…] Dunn, RFA: I profiled the 26-year-old guard here, so I’ll keep this analysis short. Dunn is an elite defender and can guard multiple positions; I […]

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