Kris Dunn’s rookie peers recently selected him as “most likely to win NBA Rookie of the Year.” Yes, that sounds a lot like a high-school yearbook superlative.
Believe it or not, the superlatives do not always reveal the truth: the 2015-16 equivalent was 76ers big man Jahlil Okafor, who had all kinds of times. But he was not nearly as good as Karl Towns.
So, what have we got here? Much ado about nothing? Or does Dunn’s selection (probably) portend special things for his career? It’s early, but it’s the internet. So why not discuss? We discuss some initial thoughts on Kris Dunn below the fold.
Patrick J: Pretty bold choice by Khris’ peers – wait, it’s “Kris” as in Kris Jenner as opposed to “Khris” as in Khris Middleton – and apparently his fellow rooks expect him to play enough minutes ahead of, or alongside, Ricky Rubio to win the award.
PERSONAL VIEW: I’d be very surprised if Ben Simmons isn’t the RoY. Then again, I thought the same thing about JOkafor…so the reality is, no one really knows, but Dunn is an interesting rookie, albeit a potential threat to ultimate Twolves glue-guy Ricky Rubio.
Andy G: Yeah, I had the same thought regarding Kris Dunn’s probability of being this year’s RoY. Basically we need another #FML-injury to Ricky, or a surprising Ricky trade, in order to clear the way for Khris D to win RoY. (If either of those things happen, I think he’d have a chance. Manning the Wig & KAT Wheel would be a great stats opportunity.)
Patrick J: Good points. What I want is for Dunn to be awesome–even if (and perhaps because) he doesn’t win the RoY–but I do not want either of those fates to befall Ricky. The question, I suppose, is whether that’s possible and/or plausible. I don’t know whether we can really know the answer until we see them on the court together. Thoughts?
Andy G: It’ll be interesting to see what sort of season Ricky has, from an assists perspective, now that Zach L, Wig, and KAT are going to be seasoned-ish veterans. I could see him dropping something fairly absurd like 12.5 assists-per, in part because Thibs will play him like 39 minutes/game as opposed to the stanky stuff Smitch would do with rotations. (Eds note: Rubio averaged only 30.6 minutes per game last season despite the Wolves outscoring opponents while he was on the court.) I think Thibs is smart enough to give Ricky ball screens with the rest of the floor spread-the-F out, unlike what’s happened a lot of the past three years, especially with Flip and Smitch in charge. Finally, it wouldn’t surprise me if Brandon Rush is a starter (over La Vine) for this reason; just to have a good shooter who is smart enough to stand in the right place.
Patrick J: What I think I’m hearing is that Ricky might have “good” Rondo type numb#rs, without having to pad his assist stats like Rajon R was clearly doing at certain points after Boston won its title but before it fully imploded. I agree. He puts up gaudy assist numb#rs per game already with minutes and “team talent” limitations that shouldn’t be there this season. That sounds like a beautiful thing (Trump voice).
Andy G: One last thing about Khris Dunn:
He’s probably a little bit overrated right now.
By that I mean: When I tweet things involving Dunn — or hypothetically trading Khris Dunn — I seem to receive replies that inflate his value beyond what it should be. The most egregious example involves my favorite Trade That Will Never Actually Happen:
Dunn & La Vine for Boogie Cousins.
30 NBA General Managers would agree that the Timberwolves win this hypothetical trade. Most would feel they win it by a big margin. But when Wolves Twitter reads it, they see a terrible trade on their team’s end.
This isn’t surprising, and it isn’t unusual for a recently-drafted lottery pick. After the draft, before the first game of the season, is the time when most first round picks carry the highest approval ratings. Right now, the collective “Timberwolves Twitter” views Dunn as the sort of player who will probably end up on future All-Star Teams.
And that very well might happen. But it also might never come even close to happening. He might never become an average NBA starting guard. We just don’t know.
Anyway, I hope Dunn is great. But it’s worth remembering once in awhile that Ricky Rubio is already very good and it’s fair to wonder if Dunn will ever overtake him in value as a starting point guard.
Patrick J. I concur. Whilst you’re waiting on training camp, the preseason, and the regular season to start, enjoy some “early Kris Dunn” vidz to preseason to:
and this (!)
Until next time,
Andy G and Patrick J