Suns rookie Ryan Dunn wants to adopt a scorer’s mindset, learn from NBA’s best

Jul 3, 2024, 1:38 PM

Newly signed Suns rookie Ryan Dunn fully understands that Phoenix is hot but is ready to put his game through the purifying fire.

“I went from traveling from city to city to finding a home to be at now,” Dunn told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Wednesday. “Meeting new people, meeting fans, meeting the coaching staff has been great. Now I get to do what I love to do, and I’m going to work now.”

From being a young kid who would don a suit while watching the draft to hearing his name called one week ago, Dunn, 21, fulfilled a life-long dream. It was an annual tradition he shared with his mom and now, instead of acting it out the moment with each passing pick, he embraced her as the dream became reality.

The 28th overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft was introduced to Planet Orange on Tuesday and made it official by signing his first league contract Wednesday.

The shooting question mark remains a talking point

Dunn’s shooting capability will remain a topic of discussion into his rookie campaign.

He shot 12-of-51 (23.5%) from three in two seasons at Virginia but had more reps in high school.

He said that he understands why his perimeter shooting ability has been under scrutiny but believes he can become a strong shooter in time.

“A lot of threes around the league now, a lot of shooting,” Dunn said. “Right now for me in this process, just (wanting) to get a lot of shots, threes up to keep that confidence going high.”

Defense, defense, defense

The All-ACC player, regarded as a defensive specialist, said his greatest thrill is weak-side blocks. He loves being a major factor on the perimeter and forcing shot-clock violations when possible.

Dunn said his defensive skillset only has a chance to grow when squaring up against Bradley Beal, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker in practice every day.

In his final season at Virginia, Dunn averaged 2.3 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. His swat numbers saw him ranked 16th in NCAA DI basketball and selected to the ACC All-Defensive Team.

A beloved jersey number is out of reach

Both Dunn and Oso Ighodaro, the other newly minted Suns rookie, wore No. 13 in college.

However, with the number up in the rafters of Footprint Center courtesy of Suns legend Steve Nash, neither has the luxury of requesting their college number.

“Me and Oso were devastated that we couldn’t get 13, tried to fight for it, but we’re just grateful to be here and figuring that stuff out right now,” Dunn said.

What level of confidence does Dunn exude with the signing under his belt?

Dunn told Arizona Sports’ morning duo he realizes that league veterans may get the best of him at times, but he is not going to shy away from the moment.

“They’re (current NBA players) just people I’m going up against now, it’s not just people I grew up watching,” Dunn said. “I belong here. That’s what the Suns drafted me for.”

Where can Suns fan get their first look at Dunn in action?

Dunn’s first competitive showcase will happen in NBA Summer League in Las Vegas from July 12 to 22.

The Suns are scheduled to face the Golden State Warriors on July 13 at the Thomas & Mack Center. The game will air on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. MST.

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