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CHICAGO — Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson refuted a report by the Sun-Times claiming that the organization was unimpressed with point guard Kris Dunn‘s work ethic this offseason.
Appearing on the McNeil & Parkins Show Friday afternoon, Paxson said the report was false and that the franchise is pleased with Dunn’s efforts to get stronger and better this summer.
“Not accurate,” Paxson said of the Sun-Times’ report. “It’s really not. Kris is a good, good young man and he’s working very hard. We have great hopes for Kris. He was a big part of the trade we made last summer and we think he’s going to make a real step this coming season.”
The Bulls acquired Dunn from the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Jimmy Butler trade. In 52 games this past season, Dunn averaged 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists, shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from three.
Chicago owns the seventh overall pick in the 2018 draft and there has been talk the team might select Oklahoma’s Trae Young. Young worked out for the Bulls on Thursday and Chicago’s brass is reportedly enamored with Young’s scoring ability and isn’t afraid to select the guard.
The Bulls, however, aren’t concerned about how drafting Young would affect Dunn and his development and believe the two can co-exist on the court. If Young is drafted by Chicago, he would be Dunn’s backup.
Paxson did mention he and general manager Gar Forman sat down with Dunn in private last season when he showed up late for a meeting while he was injured. Paxson says after the chat, Dunn was terrific.
“I’ll tell ya, I don’t think I’ve said this, but I want to make the point and why this is so difficult for us to read things like this. Last year, when Kris, he was hurt early in the season, he wasn’t active on our roster,” Paxson said. “And he was late for something. The way we addressed that was we brought Kris — Gar and I brought Kris up to our office along with Fred (Hoiberg). We had his representatives in, and we said, ‘Kris this is not the way it works. And for you to have success here and for you to play for us, we don’t tolerate things like being late or not showing up, those types of things.’ And he was terrific from that point on.”