Suns take Virginia wing Ryan Dunn with Nuggets’ pick in NBA Draft

Jun 26, 2024, 8:12 PM | Updated: 10:31 pm

The Suns have selected Virginia wing Ryan Dunn with the 28th pick in the 2024 NBA Draft after Phoenix traded down with the Denver Nuggets.

Phoenix dealt the No. 22 pick on Wednesday to Denver for the 28th and 56th pick this year and second-rounders in 2026 and 2031.

Dunn is widely regarded as the best defensive prospect in the class, a tremendous perimeter athlete capable of playing lockdown defense at four different positions. He averaged 2.3 blocks and 1.3 steals to go along with his 8.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game.

Scouting report of Suns 2024 first-round NBA Draft pick Ryan Dunn

The 6-foot-6 wing with a wingspan north of 7 feet is known offensively for his cutting and rebounding. On the offensive glass, he grabbed 2.2 a night.

The reason why Dunn was available for Phoenix in the 20s and what will determine his worth in the NBA is his jump shot.

Dunn made only 12 total 3-pointers across two collegiate seasons and made just 23.5% of his 51 attempts. Even more worrying is that Dunn’s free-throw shooting efficiency of 52.5% on 99 career attempts is another negative indicator.

If Dunn were to correct his jump shot, however, the Suns would come away with one of the steals in the draft and address a huge need.

The addition of Dunn adds a wing to a part of the Suns’ depth that was largely carried by the undersized likes of Grayson Allen and Royce O’Neale, two players who are more suited size-wise to defend guards as opposed to wings.

Kevin Durant was the only true wing in the rotation. This was not by design for the Suns, who signed Keita Bates-Diop, Josh Okogie and Yuta Watanabe to veteran’s minimum contracts in order to come out of the offseason with one viable option. Another was Nassir Little, the third player beyond Allen and Jusuf Nurkic who was a part of the return in the Deandre Ayton trade. Ultimately, none of those four players were able to perform well enough to earn a consistent role.

This inspired some more out-of-the-box thinking, such as big Chimezie Metu playing a more perimeter-based position, and ditto for Bol Bol. Bol was the success and a little after the midway point of the season became that ninth guy in the rotation, albeit an unconventional one.

Phoenix’s lack of reliability on the wing hurt it the most defensively with versatility. The Suns didn’t have much switchability to rely on in schemes, nor a few different options to cycle through as matchup options for an opposition’s top scorer.

O’Neale is an unrestricted free agent, one Phoenix can still agree to a deal with before free agency begins at the start of July. Bol and Okogie both have player options.

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