I have been a fan of the Bulls since the Jordan years, and I was a big fan of Kris Dunn in his time with the team. I realize that he has had injury problems, and I have tried looking into this question and reading articles tthat pointed out his regression in three-point percentage. But I keep running into dead ends when I try to figure out the logic behind the Bulls letting him go in the first place. Satoransky was not a starter before Wall was injured, and in his time with the Bulls has averaged lower numbers across the board than Dunn did. Satoransky makes $10 million a year, while Dunn makes half of that. And Dunn is acknowledged as one of the best defensive players in the league.
Some people might be saying that Dunn has only played a few games this year, and so he would not have been helping the Bulls until now. In hindsight, of course, that is true. However, the Bulls had no way of knowing that when they dumped him, even given the fact that he had had injuries with the team. I have had to listen to the commentators talking about how the Bulls had a point guard problem literally since they traded him. And I have watched Satoransky be a pleasant player, certainly one who wants to contribute and is unselfish. But in my opinion he is nowhere near the player that Kris Dunn is. Cast your mind back to his horrific injury where he hit his mouth on the floor. Evidently people forget that he was one of the better point guards in the league up until that point, and then, like Willson Contreras a number of seasons ago, he never came back from his injury to the All Star level that he had been playing at. But before the injury, he was averaging 15 or 16 points and 7 or 8 assists per game, along with 1.5-2 steals, all of which are better than Satoransky has ever put up on any team.
I’m looking for old-fashioned answers: I’m really not interested in MLB-style advanced metrics showing that Dunn always shot poorly from the baseline or something. I’m looking at the fact that he has averaged better statistics his entire career than Satoransky, he ended up accepting half as much money, and he is one of the elite defenders in the league. I am at a loss to try to come up with a reason why the Bulls are better off without him. He is now back and is ready to provide defensive excellence to a team that is going to the playoffs, while the Bulls try out different combinations of second-stringers and non-point guards to handle running the offense.
The Bulls should have dumped Valentine and used his $4.7 million on a backup point guard to Dunn, or some hybrid guard that could fill in during the injury that Dunn is now returning from. The Bulls would have come out $5 million ahead and would now have a healthy shutdown defender on the roster. In my opinion, years from now Dunn will be considered an elite point guard. For which of the current Bulls point guards could we make that prediction?