Kris Dunn Declares for 2016 NBA Draft: Latest Comments and Reaction

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2016

Providence guard Kris Dunn (3) reacts after a turnover in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Villanova during the semifinals of the Big East men's tournament, Friday, March 11, 2016, in New York. Villanova won 76-68. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

Providence point guard Kris Dunn announced Tuesday he will enter the 2016 NBA draft, per's Jeff Goodman.

Dunn averaged 16.4 points, 6.2 assists and 5.3 rebounds a game in his redshirt junior year with the Friars, helping the school reach the second round of the 2016 NCAA tournament.

"I wanted to come back, get my degree and made the NCAA tournament," he told Goodman. "I also felt like I improved my outside shot, even though it still needs work, cut down on my turnovers and became a better leader."

Many expected Dunn to make the jump as soon as the Friars exited the Big Dance. In February, Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman ranked the Providence star the No. 1 point guard in this year's draft class:

Dunn ranks top five in steals, again, thanks to blazing foot speed, long arms, active hands and anticipation.

But if he's ever going to be signing an All-Star-level contract, it will be due to his playmaking. Dunn is lightning in the open floor and dangerous on off-ball screens as a passer or scorer. He's an excellent shot-creator—both for teammates and himself within 18 feet.

While Dunn's college career ended in a 85-66 defeat to the North Carolina Tar Heels in the second round of the NCAA tournament, he looked strong, scoring 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting. He also produced a pair of highlight-reel breakaways to kick off the second half:

Barring disastrous showings at the draft combine and in his individual workouts with NBA teams, Dunn should be a top-10 selection this June. He commits a few too many fouls and turnovers, but that almost certainly won't dissuade teams given his impressive numbers and his improvement over the last two years:

Kris Dunn's Per-Game Averages

During his first two years at Providence, Dunn dealt with persistent shoulder issues, which allowed him to receive a medical redshirt for the 2013-14 season. Since he has remained healthy during his redshirt sophomore and junior seasons, NBA teams shouldn't consider him an injury risk.

One potential problem for Dunn in terms of his eventual draft position could be beyond his control. Most of the teams currently in the lottery aren't in desperate need of a point guard:

Current 2016 NBA Draft Lottery Order
PickTeamCurrent PG
1Philadelphia 76ersIsh Smith
2Los Angeles LakersD'Angelo Russell
3Phoenix SunsBrandon Knight/Eric Bledsoe
4Boston CelticsIsaiah Thomas
5Minnesota TimberwolvesRicky Rubio
6New Orleans PelicansToney Douglas/Jrue Holiday
7Sacramento KingsRajon Rondo
8Denver NuggetsEmmanuel Mudiay
9Toronto RaptorsKyle Lowry
10Orlando MagicElfrid Payton
11Milwaukee BucksJerryd Bayless/Michael Carter-Williams
12Utah JazzShelvin Mack/Dante Exum
13Phoenix SunsBrandon Knight/Eric Bledsoe
14Detroit PistonsReggie Jackson

Still, plenty of general managers will be looking to target that position early in the draft. A team could always trade into the lottery in order to select Dunn should he start falling.

Dunn is a dynamic presence in the backcourt, and he should help an NBA team right away. As a result, he's a near-lock to be among the names called during the top 10 picks of the 2016 draft.