NBA Draft showdown: Jaylen Brown vs. Kris Dunn
Kellan Olson and Bryan Gibberman of Empire of the Suns discuss the Suns’ draft needs and two prospects that could be on the board at No. 4.
Bryan Gibberman: Should Suns go for top talent or need?
Depending what the Celtics do at three, there’s a possibility the options at four for the Suns will come down to a point guard or wing. I’ve already written about how I’d take Kris Dunn in this scenario.
What’s the opposite side in the argument for someone like Cal’s Jaylen Brown?
Kellan Olson: Brown would give Phoenix a small forward that fits well long-term with Devin Booker, something T.J. Warren can’t claim because of his defensive issues.
The appeal of Brown is that while he’s not going to be your No. 1 or No. 2 option, you could see him becoming some version of what Harrison Barnes currently is for the Warriors. If he develops properly, he will be able to defend three positions, consistently make open three-pointers and create his own shot when you occasionally ask him to, specializing specifically in attacking the rim.
Those skills match very well with what Booker has shown he can do on the basketball.
That brings us to the problem with selecting Brown. At Cal, he never showed that he was a dependable lockdown defender, shooter or multi-dimensional scorer. His athleticism is a no-brainer with the combination of speed and power at nearly 6-foot-7 and more than 220 pounds, but a lot of scouts think he didn’t show enough during his one year at Cal to be picked in the top-five.
Which Suns guard does Dunn fit the best with? Can he play with any of them?
Bryan Gibberman: The problem with drafting Dunn is he doesn’t fit with Brandon Knight or Eric Bledsoe. Dunn playing with either of them brings on the same issues that playing Knight and Bledsoe together does.
The positive is Dunn fits tremendously with Booker. They could be interchangeable defensively since Dunn has the size, strength and lateral movement to guard point guards, shooting guards and maybe even some small forwards.
Taking Dunn means the Suns have a longterm view and are shifting the focus to what’s next rather than worrying about this season.
Kellan Olson: Another positive associated with selecting Dunn is that he’s probably the best player on the board at No. 4, even if Bender is still available. Any rookie point guard is going to struggle, but Dunn is 22 and is going to make the team better more than any other selection.
The problem, like you said, is the end product of the team will probably be much worse unless the Suns want to play Dunn as a backup point guard, which sounds like a no-no after all the shenanigans he and his camp have been up to.
In order for Dunn to be selected and, from what we’ve heard, be happy, the Suns would need to open up space for him and that means trading the best player on the team.
Is Dunn that worth it over a guy like Brown? I don’t think so, and that’s why I’d select Brown.
Bryan Gibberman: For me it comes down who I believe in as a player, and from this perspective I think it’s hands-down Dunn over Brown.
I can’t worry about the other ancillary stuff like where the Suns are as an organization right now. If they’re building this team correctly, it’s not a time to worry about fit. The majority of this roster won’t be here when they end up being good anyway.
This is why I go Dunn over Brown if Bender is off the board.