6th Pick Tournament: Kris Dunn v Jaylen Brown

Published: June 13, 2016

Kris Dunn

by Jake Madison

Think about the most basic staple of NBA offenses: The Pick and Roll.

The Pelicans tied for 3rd in the league running pick and roll plays for the roll man 8.6% of the time. The problem was they only scored 50% of the time. 13th in the league. To me, that isn’t good when you have Anthony Davis on the team.

They were also 3rd in the league when running players for the ball handler at 20.5% of the time. They ranked 12th in the league scoring 39.4% of the time the ball handler finished the play. Still not good.

That poor scoring percentage with the ball handler is going to impact the roll man (read: Anthony Davis). Teams can sag off some and take Davis out of the game knowing the Pelicans don’t score effectively with their ball handlers.

Big men (again, read: Anthony Davis) need good point guards to fully thrive in the modern NBA.

Enter: Kris Dunn.

He’s the perfect pick and roll partner for Davis. At 6’4” he has absolutely freakish athleticism that lets him explode to the rim. Defenders struggle to stay in front of him and have to rotate over to compensate when he beats his man off the dribble. This gives room for Davis to roll to the hoop and will make his life so much easier. Everyone initially dreamed Jrue Holiday would be a devastating partner in the pick and roll for Davis. That didn’t happen. But with Dunn the potential is worth salivating over.

But Dunn isn’t a one dimensional player. He works off the ball incredibly well, in a way we dreamed Tyreke Evans could. Let Holiday handle the rock and Dunn cut around and come off screens. The Pelicans offense looks frightenly stagnant at times. Dunn is the player who can add kinetic energy to it.

Now, think of the type of offense Alvin Gentry wants to run. Fast paced, in transition. Well, to play in transition you actually need to gets stops on the defensive end. Which is something Dunn did in college incredibly well. With a 6’9” wingspan Dunn can get his arm in the passing lanes and force opponents to turn the ball over. Even if he isn’t a finished product he can help immediately on defense. You won’t really hear that about many other prospects in the draft.

Dunn checks so many boxes for the Pelicans. You should check the box next to his name when you vote.

Jaylen Brown

by Ryan Schwan

Before you vote, just take a step back and think about what you want the Pelicans to be in three years.  Do you think about Kris Dunn as a dominant player at his position, putting CP3 on his heels, Westbrook in a blender, and exposing Dame Lillard’s defense?  Do you think of that guy – or do you think of Jeff Teague?  An alright point guard – but nothing special.  Point guard is a stacked position in this league – and you have to be special to make a difference.

And I don’t see special in Dunn.  I guess he’s got a decent floor for a prospect.  But his ceiling?  Meh.

This team needs to hit a home run.  It NEEDS that guy next to Anthony Davis who will turn the team from a bubble squad into a perennial playoff team.  Once you get outside Ingram and Simmons and maybe Bender – who could possibly be that second All-Star?

The answer, of course, is Jaylen Brown.  He’s a freak athlete with all the tools you need as a slasher.  You want someone to guard explosive wing scorers?  Brown has the size and speed to do that.  You need someone to guard tweener forwards?  Jaylen has the strength to do that.  You need a slasher on the wing – the first one the Pelicans will have in more than a decade – to break defenses on secondary actions?  Jaylen can do that.

And Dunn will never be able to do that.  He doesn’t have the size.

This battle is essentially a low cieling, high floor, dime-a-dozen guard versus a true wing with the physical toolset to be a star at one of the hardest positions to fill.

Shouldn’t you take the second?  Vote Brown.

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