Draft Update: Timberwolves select Dunn, Rubio on his way out?


Tonight’s night wasn’t as fun (or stressful) for Wolves fans as Boston Celtics fans, but there’s certainly plenty to talk ab….WAIT

Let’s start with the basics: With the fifth pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Timberwolves have selected All-American Providence product Kris Dunn with the fifth overall pick in the draft.

Trade talks ran rampant the seconds leading up to this selection, with reports coming from all over that Chicago and Philadelphia were desperately trying to trade for the fifth selection, presumably to select Dunn.

The proposed traded, per all over Twitter (mainly from Adrian Wojnarowski, Marc Stein, Jon Krawczynski, and Shams Charania) were:

Philadelphia sends: Nerlens Noel, Robert Covington, 2 late firsts

Minnesota sends: #5 overall pick


Chicago sends: Jimmy Butler

Minnesota sends: Ricky Rubio, #5 overall pick (Bulls reportedly rejected, as they wanted Zach LaVine)


Ultimately, Tom Thibodeau decided keeping Dunn was the best move to make.

Kris Dunn has a strong, NBA-ready body, with a good offensive feel for the game and an already-strong defensive presence. His perimeter shooting is a bit suspect, but his athleticism is definite. The questions are there, but there’s a lot to like about this kid.


For better or for worse (in my opinion, for worse), this seems to be happening. With the selection of Dunn, it seems as though the first big move Tom Thibodeau wants to make is changing the dynamic at starting point guard. This is backed by a tweet from back in May by Chicago based (formerly MN-based) Steve Aschburner.

We’ll see what happens. The draft is a crazy time, and a bunch could change within the seconds that I hit “Publish”.

Stay tuned.

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19 Responsesso far.

  1. Mebert says:

    Don’t worry, in 5 years Dunn might be as good as Rubio……..

  2. finchy74 says:

    Great… so Thibs is idiot #2,355,233 in this state that has no understanding of just how good Rubio is. While almost everyone was thrilled at the Thibs hiring (understandably so, it made a lot of sense at first glance), it never felt like the right fit for this team (to me at least). Layden’s personnel pedigree is questionable at best and Thibs is a complete unknown in that regard. If they think they’re going to find a point guard either in FA or in the Draft that’s going to contribute at Rubio’s level, all I can say is a sarcastic “good luck, gentlemen”.

    Yes, at t his moment everything is rumor and speculation. But prior to the Rubio and Wiggins/Butler rumors, I was already concerned about the personnel management abilities of these two and how they treat the extraordinarily precious gift they’ve been handed in this young Wolves roster. Time will tell and I genuinely hope I’m wrong to be concerned.

    • Dave says:

      I totally agree. Rubio >> Dunn right now. Even Rubio’s shooting is starting to improve – 3 shooting was pretty good after the break. I do love Dunn, but don’t trade Rubio – he’s an above average NBA point guard and could be top 10 or even top 5 with improvement to his shot. Trading Rubio would set our playoff hopes back a couple years in my opinion.

      • finchy74 says:

        I agree with you on the Dunn pick, Dave. I like the kid a lot. Would have preferred Hield but I still like Dunn an awful lot. I think he could be a very special player down the road.

        What’s got me wondering about Thibs’ opinion of Rubio is the Dunn pick, actually. It seems odd to me that if these reports/rumors are true that Thibs doesn’t like Rubio, why would he draft a PG in Dunn who shares so many similar strengths and weaknesses? Perhaps it’s all overblown.

        Or of course, it’s always possible that Thibs only drafted Dunn because he felt that Dunn was the most valuable piece left on the board to use as trade bait. I suppose we’ll probably never know.

  3. sportsbygreg says:

    5 years? How about now. Dunn is a dog. And in today’s game you need an explosive two way athletic point gaurd who not only have great leadership skills (as Dunn does just like Rubio), but also put the ball in the basket in multiple ways, but also defend at a very high level. Don’t get me wrong, I like Rubio, but Dunn has superstar written all over him. I would now try and package Rubio and Dieng (if possible ) for a bigtime power forward. Wolves got a steal in Dunn. Very elated!!

    • sportsbygreg says:

      Mebert, I understand your concern about the unknown vs the known. I actually wanted Dragan Bender to fall in our lap. Dunn is special though. We’ll see how it turns out.

    • Mebert says:

      Rubio is an elite defender, no way Dunn comes in as a rookie and is the same level. He might be some day…maybe.

      Dunn can’t shoot either, he is very similar to Rubio.basically someday Dunn MIGHT be able to provide what Rubio does. Just trading penny ration for playmaking. I would rather have the ready to go playmaker over the maybe ready someday scorer.

      If Dunn had an outside shot the would only be a bad move instead of a terrible move.

      I only thought I hated the Thibs hiring before this…..

      • sportsbygreg says:

        But Rubio is more of a team defender than [on the ball defender]. Rubio is a good player but has trouble staying with elite point guards. His inability to attack a defense and finish at the rim (thus getting opponents in foul trouble) is just as bad as his 3 point shot. Dunn is already better in both areas, and he has a dog mentality – which is needed to compete with likes of Curry, Irving, Westbrook, Paul, ect.

        • Mebert says:

          I agree that Dunn might EVENTUALLY be as good, but not for years. The only clear advantage he has is getting to the basket and finishing, I don’t think 35% from the college 3 is a clear indicator he is already better from there. He did improve every year which is a nice sign.

          If all that mattered on offense was the PG’s ability to score sure, but Rubio made the offense better every time he was on the court. Dunn progression is just out of sync with the team, the Wolves are ready to take the next step, but they are shifting the floor general to someone that is not ready. It was a terrible pick that is all the more confusing from a coach that says he wants to win now.

          On top of all that, in a few years Dunn might be as good as Rubio is now, but Rubio is still only 25. He is going to keep improving as well. At least we can all sit back at that time and talk about the 2-3 more layups Dunn makes per game at that time……….

          • sportsbygreg says:

            Lol. I respect your opinion, but I think you are totally underestimating Dunn, as well as his leadership and readiness as a 4 year college player. I think it is hands down an upgrade. The guy has Westbrook type talent, but better decision maker.

          • Mebert says:

            We are disagreeing we should be way less civil here.

            I don’t look at it as undervaluing Dunn, I highly value Rubio. Dunn could be awesome, but not right away. There is a long history of great perimeter defenders from college taking at least a year to get up to speed on defense in the pro game. I also don’t think that a 25 year old PG is done developing.

            Hopefully I am wrong, I will be attending both games when the Wolves come to Utah.

            The true loss is my wife, who hates basketball, says that Rubio is super sexy and if the Wolves trade him she will no longer support the team………Rubio was the gate way drug to get my wife to follow the sport!!!!!

  4. Fred says:

    If the Wolves trade Rubio because of Dunn I will no longer give a “rats ass” what they do…

  5. Uglyfunk says:

    I’m not crazy about the pick but okay with it as long as we keep Rubio. Rubio, Dunn and 3rd PG (Jones, I guess) would be a solid group to work with at the 1. If Dunn was drafted to supplant Rubio, I will be pissed. Dunn’s offensive game just screams Marbury 2.0 and with his backstory he may be just as much a crying/vasoline eating basketcase. I really hope the offensive game is where the comparison ends but you never know…Marbury seemed sane before he was drafted as well. Bullish/Alpha “dogs” seem to want to be the big dog no matter how many KATs are around (ba-dum-pshhhhh)

  6. DimeZin292 says:

    I like Dunn in the starting line up. Rube, Dunn, Wiggins, G and KAT. Defensely we will be great but there’s not much 3pt shooting.

  7. Doug deVaal says:

    Don’t trade Rubio!!! he is explosive if you consider how he sets his team mates up!! trade thibs

  8. ahfan says:

    I really love the lineup of Rubio, J. Butler, Wiggins and Towns.

  9. Tom says:

    How is it that these same reporters that say how tight-lipped Thibs is, also seem to have a pipeline to his thoughts on
    Rubio? I don’t believe for a second that Jimmy Butler was available for Rubio and LaVine. Chicago gives up one of the two best shooting guards (with a reasonable contract) in the land, for a point guard (that apparently is a poor fit for a defensive minded coach in Thibs) to add to the two others they got in the trade of Rose and a potential star (potential backup) in LaVine? Even if Butler’s contract was twice as large, it would be crazy for the Bulls when they could get more from Boston, Philly, LA and others. And to top it off, he would be going to a team that is coached by someone they hate and would be telling their fans they are starting completely over without getting any draft picks or quality big men in the deal. Nonsense. The reason he took Dunn is because he was the best player available in a pretty light draft. If Dunn was going to be as good as Rubio this year, he would have been taken by Philly with the number one pick. He wasn’t, so he probably isn’t as good as Rubio yet and so therefore, he is going to push Ricky to be a better player, give Rubio quality depth behind him, instead of watching the team go up in smoke with Tyus and LaVine running the point and maybe if Rubio becomes a steadier scorer, we see that now we have two pass first, defensive minded young point guards locked up for the next three years at less than what you would pay for Mike Conley alone in Free Agency. This solidifies the PG position without paying max dollars. Max dollars are going to go to Wiggins, Kat and hopefully LaVine in a couple years. Their backups will need to make less to fit under the cap. Stay the course Thibs and you will have a great team in a couple years.

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