MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Timberwolves introduced the latest addition to their team in a press conference on Friday.
The Wolves selected Kris Dunn with the fifth overall pick in the NBA draft Thursday night.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden introduced Dunn and gave some insight into why the Wolves took the point guard from Providence. Thibodeau called Dunn “the type of person that can unite and inspire your team.”
Dunn played 95 games over three seasons at Providence. He was named Big East player of the year twice and Big East defensive player of the year twice. The only other player to receive that honor was Patrick Ewing.
“In the NBA it’s so hard to find two-way players,” Layden said, “and having Kris here and then combining him with coach Thibs is exciting for me and I think it’s going to be exciting for our team.”
Some questioned the Wolves’ decision to draft Dunn with Ricky Rubio, a defensive-minded point guard, already on the roster. Dunn said it wouldn’t be an issue.
“Whatever coach asks me to do, I’m going to go out there and do it,” he said.
“Playing with Ricky Rubio, he’s a great point guard.”
Dunn’s defensive ability was a focus of the press conference, with Layden and Thibodeau both praising his skill. Dunn, however, said there’s more work to do.
“I think everybody knows that Thib’s a defensive coach,” Dunn said. “I just can’t wait to learn more on that side of the ball.”
The 22-year-old rookie credited his defensive ability to his upbringing.
“I come from a tough background, so you had to be tough,” Dunn said. “Probably just in my genes, my bloodline. We’re tough, we’re gritty.”
It remains to be seen what role Dunn will play on the Wolves’ roster, but Thibs and Layden are confident they got the player they needed.
“I think Kris, when you watched him play, he made others better,” Layden said, “and when you’re leading a team that’s so important.”
“He’s a winner,” Thibodeau said, “and that’s what we’re looking for.”