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Houston Rockets 2015 NBA Draft: What if… Kris Dunn?

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Houston Rockets 2015 NBA Draft Prospect: Kris Dunn

What if Daryl Morey wanted to bring in some size at point guard with the 14th pick from the Pelicans and chose Kris Dunn from Providence?

Mar 20, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Providence Friars guard Kris Dunn (3) reacts after the game against the Dayton Flyers in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Nationwide Arena. Dayton won 66-53. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Each week we get a little closer to the end of March Madness and that much closer to the 2015 NBA Draft. Plenty of players are making names for themselves in this year’s tournament and therefore upping their draft stock; some of those players include R.J. Hunter, Justise Winslow and Sam Dekker. Last week we took a trip around the globe to take a look at the 7’1 Center Zhou Qi from China, but this week we are going to work on the Rockets back court.

Overview:

Since the Pelicans are sitting right where the Rockets need them to be for the “trade protections” via the Omer Asik trade, the Rockets are looking at not only being a high seed in the Western Conference Playoffs but also obtaining a lottery pick.

Kris Dunn is a 6’3 RS-Sophomore PG from Providence University. Dunn is a player that hasn’t proved his durability yet, but raw talent and upside make him a sure fire first-rounder. He has solid NBA qualities such as:

  • Great size for his position
  • Knows how to get to the bucket, although his ability to finish will require additional work
  • Solid passer
  • Defensive Quickness, 2.7 steals per game

With the news that Patrick Beverley won’t be with us for another playoff run, GM Daryl Morey may want to find a bigger player that can split time with “Mr. 94 Feet” at point guard next season.

Kris Dunn could be a good fit with the Rockets as he would literally just play a bigger version of Beverley.

The Rockets don’t need a guard to carry the ball up-court 80% of the game or take 20 shots, those are James Harden‘s jobs.

They just need guards that can hustle, play defense and get baskets when they are available.

Awards/Stats:

  • Former McDonald’s All-American
  • Big East Co-Player of the Year in 2015
  • 16 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 steals per game this year

Houston Ties:

Man did I have to dig for this one, not too many connections between Houston, Texas and New London, Connecticut (Dunn’s hometown). The Rockets once acquired a power forward from the Providence Friars by the name of Otis Thorpe, who was a 4th-year pro when he arrived in Houston. Thorpe played seven and a half seasons with the Rockets, the most with one team out of his 17 totals season in the NBA.

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I don’t expect Thorpe to hop out of retirement and start training kids like Olajuwon, but a few motivational words for Dunn would be helpful.

And if he likes Dunn’s game well enough then maybe Thorpe could slide his opinion into the Rockets front office.

Thorpe won a title in 1994 and had his only All-Star appearance in 1992 when he was with the Rockets, why not draft Dunn and make it two All-Star champion’s from Providence!

The Injury Bug:

Unfortunately there is a little history with Dunn and injuries, which date back to his early years at Providence. A shoulder injury lat the end of his Freshman season sent him to the injury list and forced him to red-shirt his entire 2013-2014 season.

Dunn came into this year 100% healthy and ready to go and boy did his play show that. He was able to stay on the court and played all but one game against Yale at the beginning of the season. His best game was against DePaul on January 29th where he posted a triple-double of 29 pts, 13 rebs and 11 asts.

Mar 20, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Providence Friars guard Kris Dunn (3) dribbles during the first half against the Dayton Flyers in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Projections:

As of March 31st, DraftExpress.com only has two point guards ahead of Providence’s Dunn. Both Emmanuel Mudiay, who has been playing in China, and D’Angelo Russell from Ohio State are expected to be top 10 picks barring injuries and tests. With the Rockets projected for the 14th pick that would put them, presumably, in the mix for Dunn or Notre Dame’s PG Jerian Grant.

Not many expert analysts have the Rockets getting the same player, or same position for that matter. In fact after playing Chad Ford’s 2015 NBA Mock Lottery on ESPN and seeing the Rockets land Frank Kaminsky from Wisconsin three times in a row when the Rockets have Donatas Motiejunas and Terrence Jones is kind of confusing.

Dunn has been projected all over the place on draft boards, CBS Sports Mock Draft has NBA writer’s Sam Vecenie selecting Dunn at pick 22 by Cleveland Cavaliers while Gary Parrish has him at pick 41 by the Hornets. College basketball Insider Zach Harper doesn’t have him drafted at all, but with Dunn’s skill set and size it’s hard to believe the Rockets would pass him up.

Next: Is the Beard MVP?

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