Just like I predicted earlier this week, the front office felt that Kris Dunn would give this bench a lot of defensive juice.
Free agent guard Kris Dunn has agreed to a two-year, $10M deal with the Atlanta Hawks, sources tell ESPN. Player option on the second year.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 21, 2020
I really like Dunn’s defensive value at $5 million AAV, which is cheaper than the reported $7.5 million guaranteed they were willing to offer Rajon Rondo.
From my profile on Dunn:
The former 5th overall pick by Minnesota hasn’t been the franchise point guard that some thought he would be. Dunn was part of the package containing Zach Lavine & Lauri Markkanen that Chicago got in return for Jimmy Butler. He looked like an asset in his first season with the Bulls, averaging career-highs in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. His defense has never been an issue. He was drafted by Tom Thibodeau (shocking, I know) in hopes that he would be an above-average offensive player and provide lockdown defense. However, after the 13.4 PPG he averaged that first year in Chicago, injuries and inconsistency plummeted his stats. He’s still shown some flashes, but his 7.3 PPG in only 32 starts in 2020 led to an end to his stint with the Bulls. With Coby White playing well for Chicago, I understand why this move was made, but one man’s trash…..
Atlanta’s terrible defense and need at backup point guard aren’t some big secrets. There hasn’t been a solid backup point guard in play since Dennis Schroeder left town, and while I don’t think Dunn is a franchise changer — he makes a lot of sense. He did manage to shoot 35% from three in 2018-2019, and his FG% was a career-high 44% in 2020. He narrowly missed an All-Defensive Team selection in 2020. He was first in steals per minute, and his 3.1 defensive box plus/minus rating was a career-best. Before last year, he was good for six assists per game. If he can provide Atlanta with stout defense off the bench, handle the ball/distribute to the young wings, and shoot at a respectable clip — he would be a perfect addition to a Hawks second unit that desperately needs some help.