Multiple teams wanted to trade up for Kris Dunn, but it's telling that no one actually did
With the No. 3 pick in what many deemed a two-player draft, there was much speculation as to what Boston would do. Danny Ainge and company ended up snagging Jaylen Brown, as we all know.
But there were some, and likely still some, people out there who didn't like the Brown pick. They wanted to either trade away the pick for a proven stud or take someone else like Providence's Kris Dunn. Dunn was seen as a more finished product and someone who could also be traded because he had more perceived value.
He was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the No. 5 pick and according to Scott Layden, the general manager in Minnesota, there was much interest from other teams to trade up to get Dunn.
Layden said this in an interview with Sports Illustrated Now as transcribed by Jay King over at MassLive.com.
Draft day was a little wild because our friends in Boston, Danny Ainge, Mike Zarren, who are amazing basketball people, they were kind of holding the whole draft up with potential trades, potential swapping picks. When they finally selected Jaylen Brown our phone went off the hook with people trying to get into the fifth pick, understanding that Kris Dunn would start to slide. Most people knew that Phoenix needed big players so they ended up with (Dragan) Bender. So we're happy with Kris and we think he'll add to a very good point guard trio.
Since Dunn is still in Minnesota, and neither Boston nor Phoenix traded down, it tells us that the offers being thrown out there for Dunn likely weren't that good. As Layden notes, Minnesota already had options at point guard with Ricky Rubio, Tyus Jones and Zach LaVine. So Minnesota has to really like Dunn or the other options for the pick weren't appealing.
The same can be said for Boston. Either Ainge really likes Brown or the offers he was getting just didn't cut it. There is some comfort in the fact that two other teams decided against trading Dunn away so there's not much to the "what if" game. Had Phoenix or Minnesota traded Dunn for a haul, then it would be known what the offer was and fans could decide if Ainge should have pulled the trigger.
Even though Brown and Dunn have yet to play a single NBA minute, Brown seems to get more appealing by the day. Sure, there's more focus on him in these parts since he's actually on the team. But it's fun to watch him train with Jimmy Butler on his Snapchat, hang out with the other top picks in the draft and take tours of Boston. He seems to have already embraced the city and hopefully it will embrace him back.
Time will tell who the better player will be between Brown and Dunn. In the meantime, it's nice to know that Ainge didn't do something foolish just to make a deal. Something he's said multiple times he will not do.
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