PROJECTED DRAFT RANGE: Kris Dunn is firmly in the top 10 in the major rankings and could even be one of the first five names called on draft night. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress currently pegs Dunn at No. 5, a notch ahead of the other highly rated point guard in the draft, Kentucky freshman Jamal Murray. ESPN.com’s Chad Ford isn’t quite as optimistic, ranking Dunn at No. 7, three slots below Murray on his Big Board.
RISE/FALL: Dunn was so productive in his last two college seasons, and that coupled with the fact that quality floor leaders are such valuable commodities makes it tough to see him dropping out of the top 10. He brings size, athleticism, wingspan, court vision and quickness to the table and his weaknesses are things he can work on with professional coaching. His 8-for-10 performance from beyond the arc during this year’s NCAA Tournament alleviated some concerns about his jumper, though front office executives and scouts will keep close tabs on how he looks from the NBA 3-point line. He’ll need to show a greater willingness to play through contact and finish his drives. He’ll also have to display an improved handle and do a better job of protecting the ball when tested by other point guards in predraft workouts.
FIT: Several lottery teams could be in the market for a point guard. Start with the Sixers, who need help everywhere and were disappointed when the Lakers took D’Angelo Russell ahead of them during last June’s draft. The Kings will need one if free agent Rajon Rondo bolts. A Dunn-Devin Booker backcourt pairing could be a juicy prospect for the Suns, while the Timberwolves could deal Ricky Rubio if they feel Dunn is a better long-term answer. The Bucks like what they’ve seen with their Giannis Antetokounmpo experiment at the point but they could go with a more conventional look and have Dunn share ballhandling responsibilities with the 6’11” Antetokounmpo. It’s also fair to wonder if the Magic have soured on Elfrid Payton, given that coach Scott Skiles has used Brandon Jennings as a starter in recent games. There are plenty of other teams who may covet Dunn — the Knicks, Nets and Rockets would love to upgrade that spot — but they would have to find a way to get into that area of the lottery to make it happen.
FINAL TAKE: Dunn has been a special player in college and his talents should translate very well to the pros. As a 22-year-old, he’ll be more mature than most point guard prodigies (Russell, Emmanuel Mudiay, Payton, etc.) in recent drafts and consequently more prepared to take over the most demanding position on the floor. Dunn made progress by staying in school an extra season, as he told Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com when he declared for the draft. “I felt like I improved my outside shot, even though it still needs work, cut down on my turnovers and became a better leader,” he said. Expect Dunn to start immediately for the team that drafts him.
(For Part One of Kris Dunn’s prospect profile, click here.)