It's official, Kris Dunn is the newest Wolves player and becomes the first draft selection made by the New Wolves Order.
Lucas and I are currently sitting in the media room at the beautiful Mayo Clinic Square across the street from Target Center. We decided to have a conversation about picking Dunn fifth overall tonight and what it all means for the franchise moving forward.
Seehafer: After weeks of wonder and rumor the Wolves ended up selecting Kris Dunn with the fifth overall pick. What do you make of the selection?
Meyer: I'm still trying to sort out all of my thoughts, Lucas.
We're here at Mayo Clinic Square and I have this pretty bad vibe that Ricky Rubio's days are numbered. I hope to be wrong about that because, as we know here at Canis Hoopus, his value to this team extends far beyond basic box stats. Thibs said the two could play together during his press conference after the selection. I think they probably could in the right circumstances, but for the most part I find that to be like when David Kahn said Rubio and Jonny Flynn could play together. Yeah, sure thing coach. The spacing for Towns and Wiggins would get really jacked up with the below average shooting of Rubio and Dunn.
Defensively it would be pretty incredible to see opposing guards try to do anything against the duo, but offensively there would be some real serious issues. Both guys need the ball in their hands to flourish. Towns and Wiggins need the ball in their hands to carry the scoring load. LaVine needs to be the primary shooting guard because he's the most potent perimeter threat. There's only one ball to go around. I don't see it.
I wasn't very high on Dunn entering the draft. There are red flags like his age, injury history, free throw percentage and ugly assist-to-turnover ratio in college, but there are also smart people that absolutely love the guy. I have to accept the possibility that I'm wrong about him and that the NBA game might bring the best out of Dunn. From a character standpoint, Dunn is quite impressive; he's overcome so much adversity in his life.
We still have the entire second round to go. Do you think we will see a big trade tonight with either Rubio or Dunn? Is it best to hang on to both or wait it over the next few days and see if anything materializes with Chicago and Jimmy Butler or with Philadelphia? Do you believe we're going to start the season with Rubio as the starter and Dunn as the backup? Would do you think of all this?
Seehafer: I think Dunn will be around for the long haul; if he hasn't been traded by now I'm not sure he will be. I doubt we'll see a major move tonight with Rubio either. If I'm Thibs I want to start the season with them both and see what they can do next to each other. I have to admit that the selection is a little head scratching though. Dunn doesn't necessarily fill a "need" as he and Rubio's games are so similar; I mean, isn't Dunn's ceiling some version of what Rubio already provides?
This move kind of has the feel of the new guy (Thibs) wanting to come in and play with "his guys" if that makes sense? What perplexes me the most is Thibs and Layden reportedly rejecting a deal form Philadelphia that would have sent Noel, Covington, and two picks to the Wolves for the fifth pick (essentially Dunn). That would have been a haul for the Wolves and would have addressed obvious needs. I guess the question is could Towns and Noel have played together and, for me, the answer is a big, obvious YES.
What do you make of that?
Meyer: I would have accepted the rumored offer from Philadelphia. Nerlens Noel is a tantalizing defensive prospect who could play next to Towns, for sure, given what Towns is able to do (code for every damn thing). Noel would give the Wolves front court a huge defensive boost, and maybe that deal is completely dead, but for now it seems unlikely to happen in the short term. Dunn does fill a need, to disagree with you a bit. The Wolves haven't had a really good point guard option outside of Rubio for years, if ever in his career. 48 minutes of excellent point guard play isn't exactly the worst thing I can think of. It feels to me there's some larger move to be made here and we're only getting started.
I don't agree with ditching Rubio for Dunn one bit if that's what happens, but the reality is Thibs and Layden, as you said, are the New Wolves Order and they are going to get their guys. He hasn't been vocal in his love for Rubio since taking over either. The next 24-48 hours should be really interesting. Did you expect things to go this way when we first arrived here tonight? How do you feel about all of this? Quite frankly, the thought of Rubio not being apart of the Wolves first playoff team in 12 years just makes me sad. He has always busted his ass for this franchise. Maybe it's premature to think of him getting traded. I don't see how the two can co-exist over the long-term.
Seehafer: I was dead set on the Wolves taking Murray. That's what all of the signs pointed to, after all. All along I thought the best move for the Wolves (outside of drafting Dragan Bender, but he wasn't left on the board at 5 anyway) was to trade the pick. Dunn was obviously the best player available, a tactic I usually advocate for, but with the Wolves in the unique position that they're in (they have a super star in the making, a good Robin, a near top 10 point guard, etc.), maybe they would have been better off selecting a player who fit a larger need. If that would have been Murray or Hield, then so be it. I don't like the implications this pick has for Rubio's future with the Wolves. I think they could play together a little bit (and many people smarter than me in the media room tonight think so as well), but that doesn't mean that that is Thibs' plan. I can't help but think that Rubio's days in Minnesota may be numbered, whether that number is days, months, or years is yet to be discovered.
The jury is still out on Dunn, I mean, he hasn't stepped on an NBA court yet, and I can see why people would love the pick, but it's the greater implications that make me waver. However, some of that comes along with having a new regime and power structure, so at some point, I guess we have to deal with that. Now I'm really interested in what the Wolves do in free agency. Will they spend money on shooters and defensive upgrades or will they attack those avenues through trades? What will be the fate of Rubio? It's going to be a crazy couple of months, methinks.
Meyer: I was dead set on Jamal Murray or Dragan Bender so I admit to be disappointed with Dunn. I hope to be dead wrong about him. The most frustrating thing will be if Dunn forces Rubio out of Minnesota only to fall flat on his face. That's not going to be a good look for the new guys running the operations here. But then there's the chance Dunn becomes extremely special and leads the Wolves to new heights. It's going to be a long summer my friend. Only time stands between the answers to these questions. How much time? We will see.