Bulls' Dunn was 'embarrassed' with role last season with T-Wolves
There are always high expectations when you're drafted in the top five. However, Kris Dunn learned that doesn't always mean you'll get the opportunity to reach it.
Dunn was drafted fifth overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2016 NBA Draft, believing he would be the future point guard of a franchise that hadn't made the playoffs since 2004. He was quickly denied the chance, struggling to get consistent minutes in his rookie season under head coach Tom Thibodeau.
"Imagine your family coming to watch you play and you're always sitting on the bench," Dunn told Sam Smith of Bulls.com. "That never happened to us before. It was hard. I was almost embarrassed. All my life, my family looked at me as the one, the star. I felt like I was letting everyone down. It was kind of embarrassing. There were times I couldn't face them after games because I felt like I wasn't the person they were used to seeing."
Dunn came into the league with an NBA ready mindset after playing four years at Providence. He showed plenty of versatility on the floor, averaging 16.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 6.2 assists in his senior year.
His time in Minnesota was the opposite, as he struggled with efficiency and was unable to learn what it meant to be an NBA-level point guard, coming off the bench in a minimized role behind Ricky Rubio.
"Last year was a learning experience for me because I never came off the bench before," Dunn acknowledged. "I wasn't getting too much playing time. I'm in a better situation now; I try not to even think about last year."
Dunn was traded to the Chicago Bulls in June, in a deal that shipped Jimmy Butler to Minnesota. Despite the Bulls' struggles, his new role warrants some attention, especially after starting the last six games and averaging 12.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in 27.9 minutes.
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