Kris Dunn should not keep his job as the Bulls’ starting point guard
Kris Dunn started Monday’s preseason game against a star-less Milwaukee Bucks and put out a strong preseason outing during his 24 minutes on the floor, the most of any Chicago Bulls starter. Head coach Jim Boylen noted that spots are up for the taking in training camp and that the decision to start Dunn was just one of the many tweaks he will do with his rotation to find out what groups play best with each other.
Dunn is reportedly battling to keep his spot as the team’s starting point guard, something that looked murky after the Bulls executed a sign-and-trade to acquire Tomas Satoransky, who impressed for the Czech Republic at the recent FIBA World Cup.
While one game is too short a sample size to judge, Dunn might be better off coming off the bench than remaining in the lineup as the team’s starting point guard.
The 6-foot-4 guard out of Providence has yet to meet the high expectations that come with being a No. 5 overall pick in the draft, a ceiling he was close to breaking during the Fred Hoiberg era that came crashing down once the former coach was fired and replaced by his then-assistant Boylen.
The Bulls play a much slower-paced style under Boylen, but the issue remains that Dunn, among with plenty of other players in the roster, were drafted to play an up-and-down pace like the one Hoiberg ran in Iowa State. This kinetic shortage is what mires Dunn as a poor starting option for Boylen, who’d prefer a point guard that can play off the ball, while letting star shooting guard Zach LaVine see a lot more of the ball in his hands, as he also develops into a playmaker.
Dunn could flourish offensively in an up-and-down game, making the most of his speed and athleticism — unfortunately that isn’t the style Boylen likes to play, rendering a grand part of his skillset rather useless under his system.
This is likely why the newly-signed Satoransky will get the nod at the end of the preseason, able to knock shots down from the perimeter and act as a solid contributor instead of a featured star of the offense.
While Dunn is a superior all-around defender, Satoransky has improved at the defensive end, and at 6-foot-7, he can tower over most point guards, able to challenge shots and contain drives with relative ease and a few bits of effort.
The 25-year-old Dunn could be traded at some point this season, but even if he’s not, he could very well thrive in a role off the bench that will allow him to have control of the ball and make the most of his abilities; instead of constantly being stuck as the fourth or fifth perimeter option with Otto Porter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen also awaiting the ball.