The Chicago Bulls’ point guard of the future is now out for the foreseeable future:
INJURY UPDATE: After further evaluation, Kris Dunn’s two dislocated front teeth were stabilized & have been splinted with braces. He was also re-evaluated for concussion symptoms & has been placed in the NBA Concussion Protocol. Dunn is out indefinitely related to the concussion. pic.twitter.com/3crAEvY33s— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) January 18, 2018
NBC Sports Chicago writer Vincent Goodwill was the first to report the concussion, with the Bulls confirming it an hour later. Dunn will not travel with the Bulls as they embark on a three-game road trip that begins in Atlanta on Saturday.
Dunn sustained the concussion after taking a nasty fall on a routine dunk in transition against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. The fall was so bad that his front teeth left a mark on the court:
A scary moment for Kris Dunn. pic.twitter.com/XCcrEqrq8r— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 18, 2018
The timing of the injury is awful for Dunn, who has been playing the best basketball of his professional career since the beginning of December.
With Dunn out, backup point guard Jerian Grant should slot into the starting role. After playing well for most of November and December, Grant is in the midst of a major January slump. This month, he has averaged four points per game on 26.1 percent from the field and 6.3 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Cameron Payne is nearing a return, but in the immediate future we could see an unfamiliar face at the point guard positon. Denzel Valentine was fourth in the nation in assists per game during his senior season at Michigan State (Kay Felder was first in that category interestingly enough), but those playmaking traits that made him so prolific in college haven’t quite carried over to the NBA so far, though there have been flashes.
For the tanking crowd, the happy byproduct of Dunn’s injury is the Bulls instantly become a worse team. However, you’d rather not have that happen because of an injury, plus any roadblock in Dunn’s development is bad in the long-term picture for the Bulls.