Where there's smoke there's fire, and it seems as though a small inferno is growing around Providence point guard Kris Dunn and the Sixers. Keith Pompey reported back in March that Philadelphia was interested in selecting Dunn "assuming the draft pick they get calls for that", and Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher also said the Sixers could make a move for the third overall pick in order to draft Dunn. On Wednesday, CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein expressed that the organization "loves" the two time Big East Player of the Year.
Hearing Philadelphia absolutely loves Providence's Kris Dunn. Could be Sixers' target if team acquires another top-five pick. #pcbb— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 15, 2016
With uncertainty surrounding Ricky Rubio's future with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia would likely have to execute a trade with the Boston Celtics at three or the Phoenix Suns at four in order to secure Dunn. The Sixers seem set on trying to move either Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor, and either one of those guys alone should be worth a top five pick in this draft class.
The real question is: Is Kris Dunn really good enough to warrant that kind of trade?
He's shown a strong ability for finding open teammates and plays tough defense, but there are too many offensive concerns for me to be comfortable taking him. His shooting range doesn't seem like it has much room for growth, and his shot mechanics are awkward and inconsistent. Dunn's decision making is questionable, and it leads to a lot of unnecessary turnovers. He did cut down on his turnover rate from junior to senior year, but reckless playing style still has him giving up the ball much more than he should. The Sixers already run a high tempo offense, and Dunn's too fast, too furious game will only exacerbate his turnovers and ability to make bad decisions with the ball in his hands. Considering the fact that he's already 22, I struggle to see his game taking the steps forward from a shooting and mental standpoint to be a good fit to run the Sixers offense. It's not like Philadelphia won't be able to find any reasonable options outside of Dunn.
In terms of upside, there's not a ton in my mind that separates Kris Dunn from a guy like Wade Baldwin. Baldwin is two years younger, shoots the ball better than Dunn and plays high quality defense. The cost of acquiring a pick high enough to select him would also be considerably less.Bryan Colangelo has also spoken about signing free agents to "placeholder deals", and the Sixers could easily find a guy Deron Williams who can hold down the fort until a 2017 draft class that is expected to be loaded with top point guard talent.
But if the Sixers are concerned about getting better quicker, Dunn can help them do that. He's considerably more NBA ready than any other point guard in the 2016 draft, although that doesn't necessarily make him a better player longterm.
Making the move for another top five pick would be costly, and based off my thoughts on Dunn, his upside is simply isn't high enough to justify it.