The injury-ravaged Portland Trail Blazers are signing veteran guard Kris Dunn to a 10-day contract, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Sunday.
The Trail Blazers are signing guard Kris Dunn to a 10-day hardship deal, sources tell ESPN. Dunn gives the Blazers some backcourt depth with Anfernee Simons out 1-to-2 weeks.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 13, 2022
Dunn’s signing comes just two days after the team announced that breakout star Anfernee Simons will be sidelined at least one-to-two weeks with patellar tendinopathy in his left knee.
Absent Simons for the last three games, the tanking Blazers shoehorned off-guards Josh Hart and Keon Johnson into primary playmaking responsibilities alongside G-League call-up Brandon Williams. Though Hart exploded for 44 points in Saturday’s win over the Washington Wizards and Johnson has generally impressed relative to expectations while playing table-setter, Portland nevertheless needed another option in the backcourt—especially considering Simons could be out for the season’s remainder.
Dunn, a top-five pick in the 2016 draft, played 14 games for G-League’s Agua Caliente Clippers this season, averaging 11.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game. His last NBA stop came with the Memphis Grizzlies, who released him during preseason action shortly after acquiring him in a trade.
The 27-year-old last made an impact in the NBA during the 2019-20 season, establishing himself as one of the league’s most disruptive on-ball defenders with the Chicago Bulls. Dunn subsequently signed with the Atlanta Hawks as a defense-first backup to Trae Young, but his season was marred by injuries to his ankle and knee.
At 6-foot-3 with long arms, Dunn has the size to capably defend both guard spots and role-playing forwards. He’s a poor shooter and has no doubt been sapped of some explosiveness recently due to injury, though, making him a tough offensive fit for any team in the league.
The depleted Blazers obviously need reinforcements, though, and Dunn has enough natural defensive ability to perhaps be worth a flier next season if his body cooperates. Expect him to come off the bench during his stay in Rip City, making his presence most defensively and in transition.