Former Chicago Bulls point guard Kris Dunn looks to have captured lightning in a bottle amid his NBA return with the Utah Jazz. The baller put an exclamation point at the end of his 10-day contract with the team by playing the same brand of basketball that once won hearts in the Windy City.
In 23 minutes of play off the bench against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the 28-year-old Dunn scored 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting and added six rebounds, six assists, three steals and a blocked shot.
Clearly, the rebuilding Jazz liked what they saw from the former No. 5 overall pick.
As announced by the team on Saturday, the Jazz have decided to keep Dunn around for at least a little while longer, coming to terms on a second 10-day contract with the veteran baller and lockdown ace. Through four games in a Jazz uniform, Dunn is averaging 12.0 points, 4.5 assists and 2.0 steals while shooting 52.5% from the floor.
Former Bull Kris Dunn Holds Court on His Comeback Bid
Dunn, who has bounced around the league since the Bulls opted not to pick up his option back in 2020, met with reporters ahead of Utah’s bout with OKC. And he was reflective when asked about his long and winding road back to the Association.
“It’s been a beautiful, ugly journey,” Dunn said, via UtahJazz.com. “I learned a lot through my process and that’s the beautiful thing… Sometimes the best teaching is going through your own experiences. I feel like I did that throughout my journey. I learned a lot. And then the ugly parts of it — I’ve been through the G League, I’ve been waived, I’ve been traded, I’ve had injuries…
“Throughout it, I understand the business and how to be a pro, on and off the court.”
Having been through the ups and downs, Dunn believes he has perfected the skills — and the mindset — necessary to cement himself in the league once again.
“I can guard my ass off. I hang my hat on that. I try to be a defensive stopper and try to help the team defensively,” he said. “I feel like I can help run a team — scoring the ball, getting to the rim, passing. Just a little bit of everything… But the main thing is just, on and off the court, I know how to be a professional.”
Dunn Was Crushing It in the G League Before the Jazz Came Calling
Since playing 51 games for the Bulls during the 2019-20 campaign, Dunn has appeared in a grand total of 22 NBA games (with the Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers and Atlanta Hawks). But he showed that he has plenty left in the tank as a member of the Washington Wizards’ G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, earlier this season.
In a combined 33 games of Showcase Cup and regular-season action, Dunn stuffed the stat sheets with averages of 15.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.5 steals per outing and connected on 54.6% of his shot attempts overall and 41.3% from deep.
The latter number is important, as Dunn’s perceived lack of ability from deep hindered him throughout his early career. During his time with the Bulls, he only attempted 2.3 triples per game, connecting at a ho-hum 31.0% clip.