The Minnesota Timberwolves are replete with young, promising talent. Their roster includes Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach Lavine. The scariest part is that rookie point guard Kris Dunn might be even better than all of them.
The Providence star won the Big East player of the year award and defensive player of the year award in 2015 and 2016. He is the only college player with such distinction. Many expect him to have similar success in his first year in the NBA.
Despite being the fifth overall pick in this year’s Rookie Draft, Dunn was voted by his rookie peers as the most likely to win the Rookie of the Year award next season. He was also deemed as the best playmaker and defender in his draft class, as per ESPN.
Timberwolves president and head coach Tom Thibodeau handpicked Dunn to be the team’s point guard of the future. The decision has put a huge question mark on Ricky Rubio’s future with the team.
The five-year veteran has been consistently mentioned in NBA trade rumors since April. The Timberwolves have remained tight-lipped over the speculation. However, there are strong indication that Rubio will be dealt before the start of next season.
The Timberwolves need outside shooting and perimeter defense. These are facets that Dunn excel in and Rubio fails at. The Spaniard is a pure point guard with extraordinary court vision, but he lacks defensive ferocity on the floor.
Another gripe on Rubio is his sub-par shooting. He is a career 36.8 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Fans and basketball pundits alike have given their astute predictions on where Rubio might end up next season. NBA analyst Greg Anthony has a less hasty take on the subject. He believes the Timberwolves should first try the back court dynamic between Dunn and Rubio, before seriously considering trading the latter.
“Remember, the T-Wolves are going to have some higher expectations this year. People want to see this team take a big step forward,” he told Bleacher Report. “I’m not ready to just completely commit that ‘Kris Dunn is going to be the guy, it’s time for Rubio out’ because I think there is an opportunity for Rubio and Kris Dunn to come together and make this work.”