Bulls’ Kris Dunn says he feels like one of the NBA’s ‘top defenders’
Kris Dunn may not be a household name yet with regards to some of the league’s best defenders, but if you ask the Chicago Bulls guard, he should be in the conversation of the guys on top.
Kris Dunn: “I feel like I’m one of the top defenders in the league for sure.”
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 28, 2019
The first response would obviously be “Easy there, young fella” and understandably so.
Since being acquired by Chi-town as a throw-in on a blockbuster trade centering around Jimmy Butler and Zach Lavine, the much-hyped fifth overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft has yet to truly blossom into anything resembling the Dwyane Wade “starter kit” he’s been billed to be. A lot of it has to do with injuries, as the 24-year-old has yet to play a full season – most notably appearing in just 52 games last year and with just 20 games left in the 2018-19 season, he could only hope to surpass that number by one, assuming he remains perfectly healthy the rest of the way and given his history, that is unlikely.
Even as a simple defensive roleplayer, it’s hit or miss for the former Providence Friar. While statistically, he is averaging a steal and a half per night and has some advanced metrics apparently favoring his ability as an active perimeter pest – it’s worth mentioning that Bulls coach Jim Boylen earlier in the year criticized Dunn (among others) for their lack of effort on the defensive end and during the summer his work ethic was also thrown into question.
Still, at his age and if the team eventually finds their winning ways, maybe there’s hope for Dunn yet as not only a viable starter at the point guard slot moving forward but also the top shelf defender he considers himself as.