Kris Dunn wrapped up his rookie season last night in Houston, as the Minnesota Timberwolves lost to the Houston Rockets 118-123. The Friar great arguably had the best game of his young NBA career finishing with 10 points and a career high 16 assists. Dunn got his 7th start of the year, playing in the place of Ricky Rubio, whom the T-Wolves rested in the final game. Kris Dunn finished his rookie season averaging 3.8 ppg, 2.4 apg, 2.1 rpg and 1 spg. Here’s a video of the highlights of last night’s game:
To the outside observer Kris Dunn’s rookie year numbers appear pretty pedestrian and his career outlook may not be as positive as we thought. For the Friar fans that are thinking this The Crier says to have no fear. I get that there are a faction of diehard college hoop fans that don’t associate themselves with the NBA, but I am not one of them. While I do prefer the college game to the NBA, I have no reason to not like the NBA. The league is filled with some of the greatest athletes in the world and guess what, a lot of them were legends in college. My point is that for those who don’t follow the NBA you must realize the game is changing. These days less rookies come into the league and dominate right out of the gate. Michael Carter-Williams won the 2013-2014 NBA Rookie of the year. At this point MCW is an afterthought and guys like Steven Adams and Giannis Antetokounmpo are becoming the stars from that draft. Adams and the Greek Freak finished tied for 7th in ROY voting that year. NBA prospects for the most part need a few years to develop in the league to start seeing high performance in the stat sheets. Just look at this year’s rookie of the year race, the top two guys are Malcolm Brogdon and Dario Saric. Malcolm Brogdon was a second round pick that played four years of college and Super Dario was drafted in 2014! Players need time to develop so I’m not going to get overly concerned by Dunn’s rookie numbers.
There are parts of Kris Dunn’s game that do need to develop, the first and probably most important being his shooting. KD3 shot 37.7% from the floor this season on a putrid 28.8% from 3 and 61% from the charity stripe. To improve these numbers Dunn not only needs to put in the work in the offseason but he needs to see the ball go in during games. Shooting is all about repetition and confidence, Kris Dunn needs to see the floor more for this to happen. The great news for Dunn is that he already plays defense at a high NBA level. This will force Tom Thibodeau to play Dunn a lot, just look no further then Causeway St where Marcus Smart gets a ton of minutes for the Celtics. Another important aspect is the T-Wolves need to decide if they want Dunn to be a lead guard or play off the ball. A lot of that will have to do with what they do with Ricky Rubio and what they do in the NBA draft this offseason. Once Dunn’s role is clearly defined it will help him further develop his game.
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Kris Dunn are definitely on the right track this season. The organization saw an increase in wins under Tom Thibodeau and that core of young talent is only going to further develop. While Kris Dunn didn’t have the best rookie season he has shown glimpses, including last night, of the type of player he is capable of being. Dunn is definitely on the path of being an all-star in the NBA and the T-Wolves are on the path to be a scary good team, it will just take time. Kris Dunn is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential and is a great ambassador for the PC Basketball Program.