A Dunn deal? Wolves fuel speculation with draft night intrigue

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Kris Dunn showing off the inside of his coat after being selected as the number five overall pick on Thursday night.

Let’s start with the basics before we spelunk through the intrigue involving the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2016 NBA Draft on Thursday night.

The Wolves selected point guard Kris Dunn of Providence with the fifth overall pick of the first round, their only official activity of the evening.

Listed at 6’4” in height and 220 pounds, Dunn has great size for the position. At 22, he was by consensus regarded as the most NBA-ready guard in the draft. His grit (he was a football star in high school) and defensive acumen and versatility fit the prototype associated with and desired by new Wolves coach and President of Basketball Operations Tom Thibodeau.

Looked at in a vacuum, without context, it is hard to dispute the wisdom of this pick. Add in the vagaries of the Wolves roster — what this team does and doesn’t need in terms of balancing experience, skill sets, positioning and chemistry — and the wisdom of selecting Dunn still trumps the arguments against it.

Add in the various ways the addition of Dunn might prompt the Wolves to change their roster moving forward, and things become murkier. But as of right now, instead of succumbing to hot-take panic driven by social media, Wolves fans should admire the proverbial bird in the hand and wait and see what, if anything, emerges from the bush. 

Twitter, trades, and looking for trouble

In baseball, the offseason was (and occasionally still is) referred to as the “hot stove league” because fans would gather around a warm place in the winter to discuss rumors and debate theories about how to improve their favorite team.

NBA teams have the smallest rosters of any of the major professional team sports in this country, so personnel changes generally have more impact than in baseball, football or hockey. Add in the pervasive infiltration and immediacy of social media, especially Twitter, and the NBA has taken hot-stove league kvetching and rumor-mongering to extremes that are gloriously sophisticated, spastically informative and patently ridiculous. In a market bubble of speculation, it’s bullshit as catnip, with a few nuggets of gold for the seasoned, frenzied prospector. And NBA draft night is the apogee of this phenomenon.

Heading into last night’s event, any dunce could tell you that the first two picks would be Ben Simmons going to Philadelphia followed by Brandon Ingram to the Los Angeles Lakers. The intrigue began with pick three, held by the Boston Celtics, who began the evening wanting to parlay their absurd haul of eight draft choices — three in the first round, five in the second — into some tangible stardom.

The most reputable Twitter accounts dutifully began to tweet out the scenarios. The most alluring of the bunch was a supposed offer from Philadelphia, which was willing to sacrifice two rotation players in forward Nerlens Noel and swingman Robert Covington, plus the 24th and 26th picks of the first round from their own treasure trove of draft stash, for the right to make that number three pick.

And the player they wanted was Kris Dunn.

Boston ignored this bounty — they already had quantity and were after quality—and selected small forward Jaylen Brown. Phoenix, the team choosing fourth, also had no need for a point guard, and chose 18-year old European forward Dragan Bender.

Suddenly the Wolves were on the clock with the fifth pick. Minnesota is in need of three-point shooting, as the top two marksmen in the draft, Buddy Hield of Oklahoma and Jamal Murray of Kentucky, were still on the board. But they also have to upgrade last season’s wretched defense, and in that and other respects, Dunn was the best player available.

Twitter churned on. Philadelphia was apparently still offering a monster package for the right to take Dunn, now at number five, with some reports claiming it was the same package offered Boston and others reducing it to just Noel and Covington, without the picks.

And then there was the Chicago Bulls, who a day earlier had unloaded the former face of their franchise, ex-MVP point guard Derrick Rose, in a trade to the New York Knicks. This was the same Bulls franchise and administrators who had fired Thibodeau at the end of the 2014-15 season, after years of increasing acrimony. Now, according to folks on Twitter with a good track record for scoops, they were negotiating with the Wolves on a trade that would land them Dunn as the replacement for Rose. And they were reportedly offering one of Thibodeau’s favorite players in Chicago, all-star swingman Jimmy Butler, a resourceful defender, scorer and leader who would fit in wonderfully on the Timberwolves roster.

Minnesota selected Dunn. But did they really want him or was it to facilitate a trade with Chicago? Or Philadelphia? Or anyone else coveting Kris Dunn?

Landing Butler would require more than just Dunn, however, creating an ideal scenario for a frenzy of informed Twitter speculation. The clear-cut king of the Twitter scoop, Adrian “Woj” Wojnarowski, and his staff at The Vertical were on the case, along with one of his better rivals, Marc Stein of ESPN.

Ricky Rubio
MinnPost photo by Craig Lassig
Ricky Rubio

In two tweets, Woj’s colleague, Shams Charania, tweeted out that Chicago had rejected the Wolves’ offer of Ricky Rubio and Dunn, and that in turn, the Wolves had rejected the Bulls’ proposal of Butler for Dunn and Zach LaVine.

If the implication of that wasn’t clear enough, Woj himself took to Twitter a few minutes later and tweeted, “Minnesota has been shopping Ricky Rubio throughout the week. His future in Minnesota is likely coming to an end.”

This line of reasoning doesn’t add up. By dealing both Rubio and Dunn, the Wolves would be vacating their point guard position for Tyus Jones, who was overwhelmed as a teenaged rookie last season, especially on defense. Meanwhile, adding Butler without losing a swingman from among LaVine, Andrew Wiggins and Shabazz Muhammad would create a logjam at the shooting guard and small forward positions.

Jones at the point under Thibs is a purely nonsensical notion. LaVine has already proved his ineptitude at the point, and Butler is likewise not well qualified. The Wolves would thus have to shop for a point guard in free agency, while retaining a glut elsewhere on the perimeter.

About 40 minutes after Woj’s tweet, Stein of ESPN weighed in, claiming “Rising optimism on both sides, sources say, that the Bulls and Wolves can strike a deal where Jimmy Butler lands in Minnesota.”

The only reasonable way that would happen is if Minnesota agreed to let LaVine go with Dunn. But almost immediately, respected Twitter accounts from staffers at NBA.com and USA Today threw cold water on Stein’s optimism. Undaunted, Stein published a story Friday morning that left the door open to future negotiations on the subject. 

The story claims that the Wolves are prepared to trade anyone on the roster but cornerstones Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns to get Butler, and that Chicago didn’t make the trade because it was too soon after they had dealt Rose.

Drama and the status quo

A couple of other circumstances complicate the picture here. One is that ever since he took over leadership of the Wolves, Thibodeau has damned Rubio with faint praise.

Last Tuesday, during Thibodeau’s lone pre-draft press conference, Darren Wolfson of KSTP asked Thibs point blank whether he could “win at a high level with [Rubio] as your starting point guard.” Thibs proceeded to duck the question, answering, “Well, you don’t win with one guy. You win with a team.”

The other complicating factor is the obvious amount of residual dislike that still exists between Thibodeau and the management of the Bulls, particularly Chicago general manager Gar Forman. Both sides are loathe to provide the other with an advantage and neither wants to be seen as the one making an overture. Hence, while conceding that he fielded calls about Butler, Forman maintained that he did not initiate any talks on the subject.

During their draft night press conference after making the Dunn pick, Thibodeau and Wolves general manager Scott Layden announced that there was great interest in Dunn before and after the selection. “You see how much attention comes from other teams and how much [Dunn] was valued,” Layden said. “I can’t break the confidence of other teams, but the phone was ringing pretty good.”

Meanwhile, Thibodeau expressed confidence that Dunn and Rubio could sometimes play together in the same backcourt. “I think they have good size, good toughness, it is a different look. I think you are seeing that more and more now, where you have two point guards on the floor and they are both capable of playing off each other.”

But when Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press asked Thibs if he saw himself going with Rubio and Dunn at the point at the beginning of the season, Thibs ducked it again, replying: “We want as many good players as we can find. So that is what we are trying to do.”

As someone who freely acknowledges a lack of expertise over who will and should be taken in the draft, I was surprised at how well my uncharacteristic stab at a draft column last month held up over the intervening weeks. You can find it here in its entirety, but I’ll close with an excerpt that I believe still holds true as a defense of the new status quo.

As for picking Dunn, why not ensure that Thibs doesn’t burn out the injury-prone Rubio with his relentless defensive schemes; ones in which Rubio seems uniquely suited to help him execute? The Wolves can’t afford to flip the keys to a physically overmatched Tyus Jones too often, which will cause Thibs to rely too extensively on Rubio without a quality backup.

If Dunn lives up to his pedigree and becomes a potential two-way star, well, that’s a great problem to have. Rubio, whose relatively inexpensive contract will expire before Dunn’s rookie deal would evaporate in 2019-20 remains a tremendous asset.

Meanwhile, the free agent signing season officially begins on July 1, when team can start negotiating with players, with a signing date commencing on July 8. Anyone who recalls center D’Andre Jordan committing to Dallas during the negotiating period then changing his mind and re-signing with Los Angeles at the last moment knows that intrigue remains on the NBA. So does the near-certainty of further changes on what is already the most promising roster in Timberwolves history. Especially if it includes Ricky Rubio.

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Comments (19)

  1. Submitted by joe smith on 06/24/2016 - 01:43 pm.

    Never felt Rubio fit Thibs system on D.

    Couldn’t disagree more with Britt and the rest of the posters on Rubio being a perfect fit with Thibs. The 2 things you saw on Bulls teams were low turnovers and no gambling on D. Two of Rubio’s biggest weaknesses are turnovers and way too much gambling on D. I am not surprised that they took Dunn and won’t be surprised if they move Ricky. Adding Dunn to Wiggins and Towns you are building something special I think (hope) …

    • Submitted by B Ftenberg on 06/24/2016 - 02:06 pm.

      Thibs’ defense

      Too bad Thibs just chose a player who also gambles a lot on D and is more turnover prone than Rubio. Per the respected DraftExpress on Dunn:

      “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.”


  2. Submitted by Mike martin on 06/24/2016 - 02:38 pm.

    Trade with Chicago????

    I seriously question the intelligence of anyone predicting a trade between Wolves & Bulls. Thibs & the Bulls front office hate each other. Britt is right again. Thibs & Bulls will never ever do a trade.

    WCCO shows its ignorance by pushing the Butler trade. Of course Al Horton thought The Beard should have been league MVP, 2 years ago, even though The Beard never plays defense.


    How many point guards have a 20+ PPG average? Westbrooke, Curry, Parker(in his prime), Paul are the exception not the rule.

    All Rubio has to do is make 2-3 more shots/game & his average is league norm.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 06/25/2016 - 08:57 am.

      Chicago nixed the deal

      The word is the Wolves offered Dunn and Rubio for Butler but the Bulls wanted Dunn and LaVine. Wolves said no.

  3. Submitted by John Grimley on 06/24/2016 - 03:49 pm.

    Rubio’s value has always been so difficult to pin down, and I had hoped our new regime would see his inherent worth on both sides of the ball. While Rubio doesn’t shoot the best (understatement), his passing and facilitating make him a top 10 point guard. Add on his spectacular defense, both individual and team, and you get a player with so many intangibles that it can be really easy to take for granted.

    Hopefully the bosses upstairs recognize this and hold on to him, especially considering he’s locked in to a very team-friendly deal for three more years.

    Great write-up Britt! Thanks for being the voice of reason again.

  4. Submitted by scott gibson on 06/24/2016 - 07:09 pm.

    Never takes a minute off

    I keep harkening back to one of Sam Mitchell’s post game pressers where he was so impressed with how completely Rubio plays the game, every second of the game. It is not given that even great players do that. And Rubio, as noted by Britt statistically, is very effective at so many things. I will be truly disappointed if Thibs, who I don’t feel “knows” this team, does not recognize that. Unlike others, I don’t give Thibs a pass for his past success. He has never won a championship. He coached in the East. The often-maligned Mitchell was coach of the year once. It, somehow, got him no margin for mistake here. Why should Thibs be different?

  5. Submitted by Greg Kerkvliet on 06/24/2016 - 10:50 pm.

    Honeymoon is over for me

    Previous regimes would’ve been raked over the coals for a move like this. They use (hopefully) their last top-10 pick in a while to address a set of skills and position that was low on their list of short-term and long-term needs. Getting a shooter like Murray made sense. Getting an athletic PF who could switch onto perimeter players like Marquese Chriss was a long shot that may have been worth taking.

    This doesn’t even get into the redundancies that remove all leverage and likely most of the value for anything other than a Dunn trade. They got peanuts the last 2 times they had to clear out such a redundancy (Jefferson and Williams). BPA is such a fallacy in the NBA; unless the player is a clear superstar (Dunn isn’t), complementary skills are needed for the value to be salvaged. I’m just going to ignore any leaks about the Bulls, since their front office have proven to have no depths they’re unwilling to stoop to when it comes to Thibs. The Sixers’ offer was somewhat weak, but they have so many assets that adding more teams into the situation could lead to a good offer that the Wolves would accept.

    A year ago, Dunn wasn’t even a sure lottery pick before he pulled out of the draft. He wasn’t even considered that much better a prospect than Tyus. Being an older prospect just means he wasn’t talented enough to be worthy of a high pick in previous years.

    So far, this front office is off to an underwhelming start. Seemingly using the Doc Rivers approach to free agency (targeting guys the coach used to have). Potentially railroading the player synonymous with the Timberwolves through buyout even though they already have 3 open roster spots. And now this.

    • Submitted by Andrew Larson on 06/27/2016 - 08:04 am.

      Are you kidding me?

      Lavine is fine as an outside shooter. Drafting Murray or Hield would require one of the three mentioned players to come off the bench. Murray is a less athletic, slightly better shooting Lavine and all Hield can do is shoot the lights out. (Trading or benching Lavine messes with locker room chemistry between the big three who all like playing together)

      Dunn has at least a chance of being an all star. He is compared to John Wall, Russell Westbrook and even Dwyane Wade. He has his flaws, but he can do one thing Rubio can’t, which is cut and get to the basket. He is much more athletic than Rubio and he can defend well. I’m not saying he is better, as Rubio is very efficient overall, but remember Rubio is oft-injured whether that’s his fault or not, the fact remains.

      Rubio has also essentially said if we don’t make the playoffs this year, he wants out. So why not have a good plan b IF Dunn is indeed worse than Rubio?

      The fact that you are ignoring when slighting Dunn and management, is that this was a weak draft. What were they supposed to do in light of everything I said above.

      You want them to mess with chemistry? You don’t want them to have a viable back up point guard and back up plan at that spot in general? You don’t want to keep the door open for potential trade opportunities? (If they trade Dunn and Lavine for Butler I will feel how you feel right now, btw).

      You want them to take a chance on the hype machine Chriss who cannot rebound and cannot play defense? You want him to be our 4? LOL. Henry Ellenson is solid, but Dieng is solid too. There was no star at 4 other than Simmons.

      • Submitted by Greg Kerkvliet on 06/27/2016 - 07:05 pm.

        I mentioned what they were supposed to do

        Marquese Chriss as a college freshman: 53% from the field, 35% from 3 on 60 attempts. Kris Dunn as a college freshman: 39.8% from the field, 28.6% from 3 on 14 attempts. Chriss has just as many athletic gifts for his position as Dunn. Would Dunn have even been drafted after his freshman year? No one’s realistically comparing him to the guys you mentioned, who were all All-Star-caliber players at Dunn’s current age. The one I heard most was Reggie Jackson, who’s debatably better than Rubio because he started making 3s.

        Age matters. College basketball analysts who end up covering the draft always hype up the best college upperclassman because they want to pretend that their game actually prepares these guys for the NBA. Not only do older players not show up more ready to play than younger ones, but their ceilings are almost always lower. For example, the Kings and Hornets passed on Myles Turner to take Willie Cauley-Stein and Frank Kaminsky. Turner was as good as or better than either while playing minutes on a playoff team, which Cauley-Stein didn’t. This is likely their last chance at a top-5 pick for a while, and they have enough of a core that they could’ve taken a chance on Chriss to attempt to fill the one long-term hole in their lineup. Or they could’ve figured out a deal with Philly (possibly involving another team) that suited them. Not only was PG already filled, but it’s also the easiest one to replace. If they realize that Rubio’s shooting costs them playoff series, fine. PG is the most saturated market with the cheapest replacements out there.

        So why is drafting a SG “messing with chemstry” but drafting a PG isn’t? LaVine isn’t part of the big 3. He’s a friend of the big 2. Also, Dunn’s a lot more redundant with Rubio than Murray or Hield are with LaVine. At the basic level, teams can play 2 wings together with redundant skills. They can’t play 2 PGs with a lot of overlap in those skills. If they really wanted to get a backup PG, they have tons of cap space.

        Do you read in Spanish? If not, maybe you shouldn’t take translations of an interview as fact. Every local source says Rubio likes it here, and it’s not like he has any power to force a trade. Even if the threat exists, it’s hollow.

    • Submitted by Andrew Larson on 06/27/2016 - 08:08 am.


      You can sign shooters in free agency, you can sign a 4 in free agency, or you can trade for a 4 who’s actually good.

  6. Submitted by Anton Schieffer on 06/25/2016 - 12:30 pm.

    Rumor mill

    One non-basketball reason that I would hate to move Rubio is because we have him locked up for 3 more years on a contract that’s going to seem fairly reasonable once the new TV money kicks in. That’s pretty darn valuable; if Dunn eventually earns a starting job in two years, Ricky will still be in his prime, and will be a great asset off the bench for this team (or in a trade). Thibs’ defensive identity is often all we focus on, but if he doesn’t feel his offensive system can work with a non-shooting PG, we gave him the authority to make that call. I don’t have to like it, but I would understand it.

    Obviously Jimmy Butler would be an important piece for the Wolves, but the free agent PG pool is fairly shallow this year and I don’t think Tyus Jones is what this team is looking for. If we made that proposed Butler trade (Rubio and Dunn), we’d need a second trade to address the PG position. Personally, I’d be more intrigued with the Covington-Noel-picks deal. I’m not enamored with either player, but Noel would have filled minutes the PF slot and Covington would give us a 3-and-D option to allow Wiggins to play more minutes at SG.

    All said, I’m happy with this pick. Dunn has good size and is NBA-ready, and this doesn’t force Thibs to play Tyus Jones, who will likely struggle with physicality again this year.

  7. Submitted by Kevin Murphy on 06/25/2016 - 04:08 pm.

    The Rubio situation

    Rubio’s situation is puzzling. He is an elite defender and passer, he facilitates the current roster really well. So why does Thibs apparently not recognize his value?

    My take is that he does recognize Rubio’s value, but he is trying to get Rubio to change an attitude that I’ve found troubling in the past. Instead of spending his offseason working on his 3pt shot and adding a floater, he plays for the Spanish national team or whatever. This is bad (from my perspective) for two reasons. First, he is not improving his game the way he could, Ricky could be a fine 3pt shooter if he spent more time on it. Second, there is risk of injury, which could really hurt the team.

    If I were in Thibs shoes, I’d talk to Ricky about this and determine if Ricky is going to dedicate himself to Wolves basketball and Thibs agenda, or it he is going to continue to live two basketball lives.

    I’m guessing Thibs has already talked to Ricky and not gained the answer he wanted – a commitment to Wolves only basketball. So Thibs is doing his thing – letting Ricky know in subtle ways that he could not be on the team long term if he continues to pursue his own agenda rather than the team first agenda of Thibs.

    I really hope that Ricky shows his determination to work on his shot and finishing at the rim, because Ricky is a delight to watch. The combo of Ricky and Dunn could be dynamite, with LaVine – a great threesome.

    So here is hoping that the rumors we see of Ricky working on his shot, hopefully in the USA, pan out, and that Thibs takes this in the right way, and Ricky stays with the Wolves at least through the rest of his contract.

    Ever hopeful….

    • Submitted by Joseph Barbeau on 06/30/2016 - 09:57 am.

      Dunn was Thibs’s kind of player, I think. He just picked him and he’ll deal with the rest later. Hield was the three-point threat…wish they’d have taken him.

  8. Submitted by Chuck Anderson on 06/26/2016 - 08:12 am.

    Parsing Thibs’ words

    I listened to all of Thibs’ radio interviews Friday and he had a few common phrases he used to address Rubio. Let me translate –

    “We won 29 games last year”
    Don’t second-guess how I build the roster. It clearly needs improvement.

    “We want to add good players to our team”
    What’s wrong with solid PG play (especially on D) for 48 min?

    “We want players that play for their teammates.”
    If Ricky really is unhappy that we drafted a young PG, then he’s not the type of player I want anyway.

    “I’m going to keep those conversations private” (regarding KG)
    He’s probably not coming back and frankly I would love the $8.5MM of cap space.

    “We have a decision to make” (regarding Pek)
    I also would love this cap space. We’re going to talk to him about retiring or we’ll buy him out.

    So let me say that I am one of Rubio’s biggest fans, but I see what Thibs is doing here. I think he sees that with Rubio’s injury history and age, he is a mismatch with the rest of the core as a LT starter. And he also knows that Rubio is under-valued league-wide (or at least he’s finding out now). Is there any question Dunn has more trade value? We saw that Thursday. So my guess is that his plan is to start Rubio this year and transition him to a backup in 17-18. With the cap exploding, he will actually be properly paid for that role and give the Wolves an incredible anchor for their 2nd unit. Dunn meanwhile, looks very elite is you look at the peers. Using per-40 min averages, he is tops in A40, S40 and B40 among a group of Chris Paul, Mike Conley, Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry and John Wall when you compare their college stats. And he compares very favorably in points and rebounds as well to that group. An All-Star projection is not unreasonable for Dunn.

  9. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 06/26/2016 - 08:52 pm.

    finally we have a point guard…

    It looks like we now have a coach who wants a point guard that has to actually be guarded and can attack off the pick and roll. It is amazing how most other teams defend R.R. by going under the pick and roll and begging Ricky to shoot!

    Dunn is also stronger, faster, quicker, and can already shoot better than the beloved Ricky.

    I still fail to understand the blind loyalty many still have for R.R. Obviously Coach Tom does not share such loyalty and has an eye for talent.

  10. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 06/27/2016 - 07:53 am.

    Hope I’m not too late to chime in

    I must not have read MinnPost on Friday. I was hoping to see a draft column by Britt.

    Over the weekend Souhan at the Star had a column damning Rubio. It was weird. At one point he said defenders of Rubio defend him either by pointing out the positive analytics or by using the eye ball test to justify his value. Souhan then makes an unsupported leap to saying Rubio is a drag on the roster or something stupid like that. I remember another column from him earlier in the year that showed he seems to know little about basketball. Glad Britt is here as a counterbalance.

    My take is that Rubio’s best skills fit well with a young, developing roster: great leader on the floor, great facilitator. Sure would be nice to have a good PG on the floor at all times so I hope they hold on to Ricky. I don’t see them making the playoffs if they get rid of Rubio now and we go with a rookie at PG. Bad idea. Maybe Rubio and Dunn swap roles in a year or two but for now I see Ricky as the starter. I thought Golden State showed the value of a good back up PG. LIvingston added a lot of value to their team when he was on the court.

    I think our biggest need is at PF. Did Garnett play 400 minutes last year? Is there any shred of hope left for Pek? Payne seems like a bust. Sure would be nice to see Gorgui come off the bench with Dunn or Rubio and Shabazz. Need another shoot guard too. But what I want most is for them not to trade of Wig, Kat, Rubio or Zach and pick up a few decent rotation guys. In five years when we hopefully are playing for championships who will be more valuable: Zach or Butler? I’m sure everyone else here wants Butler but if we get him, we get his best years when the rest of the roster isn’t ready to peak and he’ll be sliding over the hill when our young guys are in their prime. The new optimism here is based on the young core and if you trade off part of the young core you decrease my optimism.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/09/2016 - 10:27 am.

      They’ve got

      a great PF in KAT.
      What they really need is a true center. Aldritch is a good backup; not a starter.

  11. Submitted by Sean Olsen on 06/27/2016 - 01:51 pm.


    I think a lot of the trade talk is overblown. I’m sure Thibs and Co. would listen on a Rubio or Dunn deal (and frankly don’t mind there being some level of speculation if it proves able to loosen up a good offer), but the Dunn selection itself wasn’t predicated on moving one of them, IMO. Rather, it’s selecting a two-way player in Dunn over a one-way guy in Murray or Hield. Dunn is a player that seems to fit Thibs’s stated desire for “serious players” who also have a defensive mindset.

    I’m not convinced you can play Rubio and Dunn together in the backcourt for long stretches, but at the very least the Wolves appear to have filled one of their three gaping personnel holes (backup PG, with the others being 3-and-D wing and functioning big) with the pick, with the upside potential of having a guy who could potentially unseat Rubio at some point.

    The notion, though, that Dunn is automatically going to come in here and kick Rubio to the curb is also overblown. (Many around these parts were making the same rosy predictions about Tyus Jones one year ago.) Dunn, too, is going to have to prove his shooting and offensive game at the NBA level.

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