Scouting Report by Derek Bodner. Video Analysis by Mike Schmitz
There are some college basketball players who require some nuance in figuring out why they're NBA prospects. A diverse skill level that may not show up right away, an incredible understanding of the game that requires some time before it's really appreciated, a specific role they have to be placed into in order to really have their gifts maximized to the extent that you can see them carving a role at the highest levels of basketball.
Providence junior Kris Dunn is not one of these prospects.
It takes little more than a few seconds of watching Dunn play before you realize why he has a bright future in the NBA. Dunn has an exceptional physical profile for a point guard in today's NBA, standing 6'4 in shoes, with a terrific frame, a long 6'9 wingspan, and elite quickness and leaping ability that place him in rarefied air by even NBA standards.
Dunn spent his first two seasons at Providence fighting off a series of injuries to his right shoulder that prevented his college career from taking off. Dunn tore the labrum in his right shoulder the summer before his freshman season at Providence, then injured the shoulder again in an exhibition prior to what would have been his sophomore year. Dunn tried to play through the injury initially, playing four games for the Friars before conducting season-ending surgery.
After breaking out in a big way in 2014-15, Dunn's progress for this season, classified his junior season after being granted a medical red shirt for the 2013-14 campaign, was much more incremental in nature. His scoring average rose slightly, from 18 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted to 19.6, his three-point shot rose from 35.1 percent to 37.2 percent, and his turnovers dropped, from coughing the ball up on 22.6 percent of his possessions to 18.8 percent, a figure still very much on the high side. His assist rate did drop as well, from assisting on 50 percent of his teammates field goals while on the floor in 2014-15 to 41.8 percent, although this is in large part due to the emergence of sophomore Kyron Cartwright as a secondary ball handler for the Friars, and the presence of Ben Bentil, who created a decent amount of his prolific offense on his own.
Dunn's athletic profile serves as the catalyst for much of his game, including in transition, which makes up just over 25 percent of his possessions, according to Synergy Sports Technology, despite the fact that Providence head coach Ed Cooley hasn't historically been known as an up-tempo coach. Dunn's elite ability to force turnovers he averaged 3 steals per 40 minutes, pace adjusted, the top figure in our top-100 database certainly helps in this regard. Dunn has elite quickness with the ball in his hands and an incredible burst, and he's relentless in attempting to use this to his advantage in the open court.
Another area where Dunn really uses his quickness to his advantage is off pick and rolls. Dunn changes gears very well, expertly lulling defenders to sleep with a couple of lazy dribbles before changing gears, and direction, and exploding to the hoop in a manner that's tough for defenders to stay in front of. Dunn complements this ability to attack the basketball off of pick and rolls with an ability to shoot off the dribble, and has excellent elevation on his jump shot, which allows him to get a clean look despite tight defensive pressure.
Dunn's overall numbers as a jump shooter have improved over the years, and based off numbers alone can be considered a strength of his, at least on paper. Dunn shot a career-best 37.2 percent from three-point range on the season, making just over one per contest, and shot 33 percent on jump shots off the dribble, a better-than-average rate. Still, watch Dunn play and the results are wildly inconsistent. At times, he'll make shots that fall effortlessly through the hoop; at other times, he'll miss, wildly, to the left or right, shooting airballs that make you wonder how much progress he's actually made on his shot. In terms of form, there's still quite a bit of extra motion in his shot, and his balance is questionable at times as well, with the plant, angle of jump, and landing seemingly changing from shot to shot, even when not under duress.
Dunn's other main area of concern is his propensity to turn the ball over. The optimist would say he lowered his turnovers from 4.8 turnovers per 40 minutes, pace adjusted, to 4.2. The pessimist would say that's still the worst number, by far, of any point guard projected to be drafted in our latest mock draft. The reasons for Dunn's turnovers are varied, from wild forays to the hoop, to an at-times loose dribble ripe for being stripped, to flat out poor decision making.
Providence is a team that has struggled from the perimeter during the two seasons Dunn served as a focal point, and this lack of spacing certainly provides some hope that Dunn could fix some of these issues at the next level. The spacing Dunn should have in the NBA, with the freedom of movement guards enjoy, the longer three-point line, and hopefully landing on a team with more consistent perimeter shooters are all factors that could help Dunn's style of play. Still, the questionable decision making is a legitimate concern for a 22-year old player who will have the ball in his hands as much as Dunn projects to.
One area where Dunn made progress this season was finishing at the hoop. His overall two-point field goal percentage was still very low, as he shot just 47.7 percent from two-point range on the season, but this was in large part due to how reliant he is on long two-point jump shots to carry the offensive burden he has been asked to at Providence. Dunn shot 58.1 percent on half court shots around the basket, according to Synergy Sports Technology, a significant improvement over the 46 percent he shot during 2014-15, as he did a much better job of using his elite explosiveness and body control to effectively finish around the basket.
While Dunn's decision making and carelessness with the ball still leave something to be desired, he possesses plus court vision, and knows how to use his athleticism and ability to create off the dribble to benefit his teammates, both shooters stationed in those ever-so-valuable corners and big men cutting off the ball.
Defensively, Dunn has elite physical tools, with the size, wingspan, and foot speed to be a lockdown defender when dialed in. Dunn tends to float off the ball, constantly in search of lazy passes for opportunities to force a steal and start a transition breakaway. This can certainly work as we noted above, he has a prolific steal rate but it leaves him out of position far too frequently, as he can be prone to being burned by back door cuts, lacks awareness in recognizing screens, and struggles to defend pick and rolls. Dunn's also prone to reaching more often than he should, picking up some entirely unnecessary fouls which limits his ability to stay on the floor. The potential is there, but his current consistency and effectiveness might be overstated if you just watched his highlights or saw his gaudy steal numbers.
Dunn's combination of elite physical tools, ability to get to the rim, both in transition and off the dribble, passing ability, and defensive upside gives him an immense amount of potential to tap into, and should land him very high in the lottery as a result. While his turnover rate and inconsistency in his jump shot are currently holding his game back somewhere, those are correctable flaws and there's regardless quite a bit of room for growth left as the game slows down for him with age and experience.
Despite sitting out nearly half of the sessions, Dunn still proved to be one of the best players and prospects at Nike Academy. The Providence guard showed why he was considered a potential lottery pick in the 2015 NBA Draft (before electing to return to school) with his ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor.
Dunn's handle still looked a bit sloppy at times, but he got wherever he wanted on the court thanks to his elite burst, ability to change speeds and directions on a dime, and excellent size and strength for his position. Once he got a piece of the paint the 21-year-old soon-to-be senior did a nice job finding a balance between scoring and distributing in traffic. Dunn proved to be a maestro in the pick and roll, keeping defenders on his back and dropping it off to the roll man or bouncing out of the paint and knocking down a mid-range jump. Dunn wasn't immune to avoidable turnovers, however, as he left his feet to pass and tried to thread the needle in traffic on a couple of different occasions things we saw a bit too much of during his junior season at Providence.
Dunn also didn't appear to have added much range on his jumper, evident by his insistence on playing exclusively inside of 18 feet in the half court. Defensively, Dunn had flashes of brilliance as an on ball stopper, using his size and strength to fight over screens and contain penetration.
Sporting a tremendous 6' 4 frame with a 6' 9 wingspan, Dunn has outstanding potential on the defensive end, and he showed flashes of that in front of a handful of NBA scouts and executives. Dunn didn't appear to have changed much as a prospect since last season, but given his physical profile, explosiveness, court vision and defensive potential, it would be surprising to see him fall out of the 2016 NBA Draft lottery even if he'll be 22 by the time the draft rolls around next season.
Scouting Report by Jonathan Givony. Video Analysis by Mike Schmitz
Kris Dunn came to Providence as a McDonald's All-American and the centerpiece of Ed Cooley's rebuilding process. A serious shoulder injury hampered him severely as a freshman, and then another injury to the same shoulder forced him to miss almost the entire 2013-2014 season. After two surgeries over a span of 18 months, Dunn was essentially forced to start from scratch this season, as a 21 year-old redshirt sophomore.
The results were mostly spectacular, culminating in co-Big East player of the year honors, a loss in the conference tournament finals to Villanova, and a six seed in the NCAA Tournament. Dunn stayed healthy all season and put up some of the best numbers in the country, 18 points per-40 minutes, 6.5 rebounds, nearly 9 assists and over 3 steals. His highlight reel featuring his best plays of the season is one of the most impressive among any prospect in this draft class, and his NBA stock has shot up into the stratosphere in turn.
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Dunn is not only an extremely productive product, he also has outstanding tools and upside. His appeal is readily obvious on first glance, starting with his terrific size at around 6-4, long arms (a wingspan between 6-8 and 6-9), ideal basketball frame, excellent quickness and dexterity, and ability to play above the rim with ease.
Dunn has the ability to operate at different speeds and has a couple of different gears he can get to, which makes him extremely dangerous in both the half-court and transition-game. He has a terrific first step and can beat his man off the dribble in one on one situations, but is also a prolific pick and roll player thanks to his shifty style of play and creativity as a ball-handler.
Dunn's size allows him to see over the top of defenses with ease, which affords him many different options in the pick and roll game, including passing to all sides of the court, pulling up off the dribble, or driving all the way to the rim. He has excellent court vision, dishing out an assist on an outstanding 51% of his possessions, indeed leading all college prospects in our Top-100 rankings in assists per-40. While not a great decision maker at this stage, he has outstanding potential as a playmaker, and will never be at a disadvantage physically in the NBA.
As a shooter, Dunn is somewhat of a mixed bag. He didn't attempt all that many 3s this season, as only 20% of his field goal attempts came from beyond the arc, and found somewhat mixed results when he did, making 34.7%--often looking unbalanced and jumping way forward on many of his shots, some of which looked rush and came very early in the shot-clock. He shows good potential in this area, though, with solid shooting mechanics and touch, particularly pulling-up off the dribble, where he had plenty of success, making 44% of his attempts according to Synergy Sports Tech, one of the better rates among collegiate guards this season. With time and repetition, Dunn should be able to continue to extend his range out to the NBA line and become a decent outside shooter in time.
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The two biggest areas of concern surrounding Dunn offensively is his finishing around the basket and extreme turnover rate. Dunn converted an extremely poor 45% of his shots inside the paint in the half-court this season. Despite having ample strength and explosiveness, he shows average touch around the rim when forced to finish over length, and tends to avoid contact at all costs, showing a concerning lack of toughness in the process. Some of this might have to do with amount of time he missed with injuries and concerns about getting hurt again, but this was an issue prior to that as well. To his credit, he has a very nice floater he's developed from the middle of the paint that helps make up for his struggles at the rim to a certain extent.
Dunn can be very wild and careless with the ball as well, as he posted the highest turnover rate in our Top-100 prospects (4.8 turnovers per-40, 22.5% TO%), and shows truly baffling decision making at times. Some of this is likely due to his lack of experience playing his first injury-free season in college, but his turnover problems are an issue we've talked about since the very first scouting report we wrote about him back in 2011. He makes some extremely impressive moves with the ball at times, but can get very sloppy with his handle as well.
Defensively, Dunn has all the tools you look for in a guardelite size and length, a great frame, quick hands and feet, and outstanding instincts getting in the passing lanesresulting in some extremely impressive plays. He forces a ton of turnovershis 3.2 steals per-40 minutes pace adjusted ranks #1 among Top-100 prospects by a wide margin, and is also a strong rebounder at 6.5 per-40, tied for second best in the Top-100. He's big enough to stay in front of point guards and shooting guards alike at the NBA level, which give his team very nice versatility that is highly coveted these days.
With that said, despite the tools and talent, that didn't always result in lockdown defense at the college level. Not particularly sound from a fundamentals standpoint, Dunn tends to play very hunched over on defense, which helps him conserve energy, but neutralizes his quickness to a degree. He shies away from using his body to contain dribble penetration or fight through screens, lacking some of the physicality, grit and toughness you like to see from shutdown defenders. Providence played quite a bit of zone this season, partially to help Dunn save energy for offense and keep him out of foul trouble, so there will be somewhat of a transition for him making his way to the NBA in that regard. Nevertheless, his technique will need improvement, as will his intensity and effort-level.
Dunn is clearly one of the most talented guard prospects in this draft class, with some extremely impressive characteristics, and weaknesses that can and should be improved upon in time. He'll likely do extremely well in private workouts and has a chance to really rise up draft boards as we get closer to the end of June. While he's a little older than some of his peers who will be drafted in the top-20, at 21 years old, he clearly still has a great deal of upside left to tap into due to his lack of experience at the college level and his terrific physical tools.
The former McDonald's All-American had a difficult time demonstrating his considerable talent-level consistently here in Colorado Springs, never really getting into a rhythm seemingly and eventually being released from the roster after the first round of cuts. He was very turnover prone throughout the week and struggled from the perimeter due to his very shaky outside stroke. While he has excellent size, solid ball-handling ability and the athleticism needed to get to the rim at will, he had a difficult time finishing plays around the rim as his frame is still underdeveloped and he doesn't deal well with contact. Despite his unimpressive showing, Dunn is a player NBA scouts will continue to follow as he shows terrific physical attributes and solid playmaking instincts getting teammates involved. He doesn't have the experience or skill-level needed to consistently take advantage of his considerable talent, but he has plenty of time to continue to improve.
One of the more physically gifted players in the 2012 class, Kris Dunn (#26 Scout, #10 Rivals, #29 ESPN) is a long and extremely athletic point guard with a good frame and great size for his position.
He excels in transition and beating opponents off the dribble at this level, showing a quick first step and nice ball-handling skills, and looking fairly unselfish finding the open man in drive and dish situations. Dunn's perimeter shooting skills and decision making ability are still catching up with his physical tools, as he can be a bit wild or turnover prone at times and doesn't have very much range on his jumper at the moment. Defensively, he has terrific upside with his size, length and quickness, something that will surely be harnessed by the coaching staff at Providence once he arrives on campus.
Players in Dunn's moldthink Iman Shumpertare highly coveted by NBA teams, and he'll likely be tracked closely by scouts early in his college career.