The Chicago Bulls decided to let Kris Dunn walk this offseason after not extending him a qualifying offer (worth $7.1 million). The 26-year-old hit unrestricted free agency following an impressive 2019-20 defensive performance and his tenacious perimeter presence is likely the reason why the Atlanta Hawks became suitors.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Dunn has signed a two-year, $10 million deal with the Hawks. The signing makes all the sense in the world for an offensively gifted team whose best player (Trae Young) struggles mightily on the opposite side of the ball.
Experts around the league love this move for Atlanta:
The best value signing of the offseason so far. https://t.co/UwYel5DWVd
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) November 21, 2020
Kris Dunn made my All-Defense ballot. One of the great unseen pleasures of last season was Dunn absolutely terrorizing point guards, SGs, and even some SFs. 3-point shooting fell further, but Dunn hit career-best 65% at the rim. Worth a look for the Hawks for sure. https://t.co/ELgYfd3xOi
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) November 21, 2020
Dunn, 26, leaves the Bulls after three seasons. He has developed into one of the league's best defenders, a talent that'll make him a valuable addition to an offensive-minded Hawks team. https://t.co/b7YZHtHrsL
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 21, 2020
I’m sure all this praise for Dunn makes Bulls fans feel a bit uneasy, but the front office’s decision to move on from him still isn’t the biggest deal. Dunn was simply not the right fit for the Bulls at this point in time, whereas it happens to be the exact opposite for a team like the Hawks. Arturas Karnisovas has made it pretty clear that he currently wants two-way players who, if anything, lean a little more offensive-minded. The Bulls ran with the second-worst offense in the league last season, and that’s likely the immediate area of improvement Karnisovas is trying to make.
Also, for what it’s worth, the Bulls did sign a competent defender with their limited cap space on Friday night. Garrett Temple will join the team and, in many ways, take Dunn’s place. No, he will not offer the same elite skillset we saw on that end of the floor, but he does also happen to offer more on offense than someone like Dunn. Additionally, Temple is another true veteran presence that this team has lacked in recent years.
I will say, though, not having Dunn in the picture could be a bit of a bummer. While I think the Bulls will switch up their defensive gameplan this offseason to more of a drop-back coverage, Dunn still could have been a much-needed anchor at times. Not to mention, this seems to just make the Hawks even better. The organization had a major signing last night as they inked forward Danilo Gallinari to a three-year deal. The Hawks are pushing for the playoffs and now pose a bigger threat to this young Bulls team.
Eh, still, limited on offense and riddled with injury-trouble, the Bulls were just ready to move on. Whatever.
Oh, and can we all agree the Hawks really signed Dunn because Trae Young didn’t want to deal with him anymore?
And now they’re teammates ❤️ pic.twitter.com/wUltxjs0Xv
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) November 21, 2020