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Former Bull Kris Dunn kept belief in journey back to Jazz, NBA

Former Bull Kris Dunn kept belief in journey back to Jazz, NBA originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

SALT LAKE CITY — It takes a tough-minded player to travel the journey that Kris Dunn did.

Dunn, the former No. 5 overall pick and Chicago Bulls guard, spent the majority of two full seasons in the G League, waiting to seize the next opportunity. Injuries, bus rides, talk that his offensive game couldn’t stack up—none of that deterred Dunn.

And when the Utah Jazz called, he was ready, turning 10-day contracts into a two-year deal and regular rotational role with spot starts.

“The love of the game,” Dunn said before Thursday’s Bulls-Jazz game, when asked what kept him going. “I love basketball. The game always kept me out of trouble. I always loved the competitiveness of it. I think you could tell. When I was in the G League, I was coming off the bench and still going after it, attacking it. I felt like I could always be an NBA player again and just had to put in the work.”

Acquired from Minnesota in the Jimmy Butler trade, Dunn averaged 10.7 points, 5.1 assists and 1.8 steals in his three seasons in Chicago. Alongside current teammate Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine, he flashed plenty of high points, particularly defensively, as the Bulls endured a rebuilding period.

But he shot just 31 percent from 3-point range and 43 percent overall. And when the new management regime entered in 2020, Dunn didn’t receive a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Injuries plagued his time with the Atlanta Hawks and, following two trades, he was waived by the Memphis Grizzlies. A 10-day contract with the Portland Trail Blazers at the tail end of the 2021-22 season led to a 14-game NBA stint.

But not until Utah signed him did Dunn find a home.

He has shot 40 percent from 3-point range and 50 percent overall during his 76 games before Wednesday, including 30 starts. All while playing his typical in-your-face defense.

“His 3-point shooting has for sure improved. That’s just a fact,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “When his feet are set and he’s open, I think it’s…


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/former-bull-kris-dunn-kept-013303881.html

Author : NBC Sports Chicago

Publish date : 2024-03-07 01:33:03

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