Target #5: Kris Dunn
Jan 24, 2016; Villanova, PA, USA; Providence Friars guard Kris Dunn (3) reacts to a score against the Villanova Wildcats during the second half at Wells Fargo Center. The Providence Friars won 82-76 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
After the dream duo of Simmons and Ingram, Buddy, and Bender, the next player on the Pelicans list of priorities is likely to be Kris Dunn.
Dunn is a 6’4″ combo guard with a 6’9″ wingspan and seemingly boundless athleticism.
Like Buddy, Demps will be drawn to the fact that Dunn is an NBA-ready prospect who can contribute from day one. He’s a 22-year-old junior with a filled out frame and is in perfect shape to start banging bodies with more experienced NBA veterans.
Dunn has massive defensive potential, despite some noticeable lapses off the ball. His size, wingspan, and tendency to get in the lane and rack up steals (2.5 a game) are indicators that he will eventually be an elite defender in the NBA, even if he got lost a few times this past year.
On offense, Dunn has some noticeable flaws with his decision-making. He’s a remarkably good slasher and finisher, as well as a passable shooter from deep (37%), but his IQ isn’t all there quite yet.
Much like controversial Pelicans shooting guard Tyreke Evans, he seems to have a tendency to play “hero ball” and overestimate his role at inappropriate times. He has the potential to be John Wall with even better rebounding, but he also has the potential to be Tyreke Evans minus two inches.
Odds are he will land somewhere in the middle, which is why he’s 5th on this list and not 3rd or 4th. He’s a better ball handler, a stronger athlete, and a better defender than Hield while being held back by brash decision-making and occasional inconsistencies in his shooting.
It’s possible Dunn is a more self-aware and intelligent player than Tyreke, but we can’t know for sure. Was he simply testing his limits this season? or is he really the type of player to occasionally pull up for a fading 24 footer with 22 seconds on the clock?
Dunn has said all the right things so far, and he clearly has the potential to be a physically imposing beast of a point guard. If Buddy and Bender are taken with the 3rd and 4th picks, the Pelicans will be praying he falls to six.
Next: Worst Case Scenario