Ryan Arcidiacono

Battling for point guard spot, Kris Dunn dislocates finger and will miss multiple weeks

Battling for point guard spot, Kris Dunn dislocates finger and will miss multiple weeks

The Kris Dunn reclamation project hit a bit of a snag Friday night—literally and figuratively.

Dunn will miss at least the next couple weeks with an open dislocation of his left index finger in an awkward basketball play in the Bulls’ 114-101 preseason win over the Milwaukee Bucks at the United Center.

Dunn was having his best outing of the preseason, playing confidently and assuredly before his progress came to a halt, as he’ll lose valuable time picking up the offense and learning to play with his new teammates.

With 8:53 left in the fourth quarter, Bucks guard Sterling Brown made a quick move to the basket for a dunk and foul on Bulls guard David Nwaba. Nwaba made contact with Dunn’s finger and it twisted in what didn’t look like a natural position.

Teammates squirmed.

“I saw it for a second, I had to turn away, I can’t look at things like that,” teammate Justin Holiday said.

“It was almost at a 90-degree angle,” said guard Denzel Valentine.

Fred Hoiberg said he could almost see the tendon on Dunn’s finger, thus explaining the “open dislocation” as the bone went through his skin.

Dunn writhed in pain as he immediately went to the locker room with trainer Jeff Tanaka. Unlike a normal dislocation where a bone can be popped back into place, Dunn’s wound will have to heal after stitches are applied.

If it sounds wrenching, it’s because it is.

“The first thing that will have to be done, Jeff Tanaka popped it back into place. But with the open wound it’ll be at least a couple weeks to get that healed,” Hoiberg said. “He’ll get that stitched up and have an appointment with our hand specialist tomorrow and go from there.”

If one is counting, it means all three participants from the Jimmy Butler trade are all out with injury—Zach LaVine is recovering from an ACL injury, first-round pick Lauri Markkanen is dealing with back spasms and now, Dunn with this injury.

It certainly appears Dunn will miss the season opener against Toronto, which is less than two weeks away, and for the eternal optimist, a game like this could’ve been a confidence builder for the season.

Dunn was aggressive in going to the basket, playing under control and hit his lone 3-point attempt in 16 minutes, hitting five of seven shots to score 11 points. With his outside shooting struggles well known, he took smaller Bucks guards to the midrange area, deliberately setting himself up for easy shots in the 10-foot range.

“Kris was unbelievable tonight. He was ballhawking on defense, getting to the paint, making plays,” Hoiberg said. “His shot was looking really good on that 3 that he hit on the right wing. He looked really comfortable out there.”

Dunn was a big part of the Bulls playing with pace and getting into their offense quickly as opposed to rushing shots, making his case to start opening night as he and Jerian Grant vie for honors.

“Just trying to get my groove. Yesterday was the most shots I took in a game, in awhile. It felt good,” Dunn said at the morning shootaround, speaking of his one-for-nine shooting performance against Dallas Wednesday night.

Grasping Hoiberg’s offense hasn’t been a problem for Dunn, as he’s trying to wash away the negative memories of a bad rookie year in Minnesota with a fresh start in Chicago.

“It’s a lot of read and react,” Dunn said. “Trying to get a good rhythm going into the regular season. I’m a competitor, they want to see that every day out of me. I have to bring that to the team.”

Now that recovery has been put on hold for one of another kind, and more will be known in the days ahead.

“It’s unfortunate that it happened in this game, it can happen to anybody,” Hoiberg said. “He’s gotta keep his spirits high as he goes through the recovery process and hopefully we’ll get him back before too long.”

Guest list: Bulls announce 13 players waking up in Vegas for summer league

Guest list: Bulls announce 13 players waking up in Vegas for summer league

Although the rebuild has been the talk of the town lately, let's not forget that the Bulls are reigning summer league champs. 

Defending their rather meaningless crown, however, takes a backseat to other storylines as play begins in Vegas this week.

The highest intrigue item is catching a first glance at young question marks that could be part of the Bulls' core for years to come. Among them, Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen - two highly touted pieces acquired in the Jimmy Butler blockbuster - will be making their Bulls' debut in Sin City, the team announced Wednesday. 

Here's a look at the full roster: 

Brady Heslip, G

The Baylor product is known as a sharpshooter, especially from beyond the arc. Now 27, he's averaged 18.5 points and connected on 43 percent over the course of his G- (formerly known as D-) League career. 

Antonio Blakeney, G

Blakeney was a top prospect coming out of high school. The 20-year-old was named a 2015 McDonald's All-American and chose to take his talents to LSU to play alongside Ben Simmons. Unlike Simmons, who was selected No. 1 in the 2016 NBA Draft, Blakeney went undrafted in this year's event. The guard averaged 12.6 points for the Tigers last season.  

Ryan Arcidiacono, G

One can only hope Arcidiacono brings Jim Nantz's tie to Vegas. The guard was given the oddly egotistical gift after starring on the NCAA champion Villanova squad in 2016. He signed with the Spurs after that dream run and spent the duration with their Austin affiliate. 

Paul Zipser, F

Zipser came on strong near the end of last year, even getting run in the Bulls' first-round loss to the Boston Celtics. He averaged 5.5 points on 40 percent shooting in Fred Hoiberg's offense. 

Dejan Todorovic, F

The 23-year-old Serbian played for Bilbao in Spain last season. Todorovic came off the bench for Bilbao, averaging just over 5 points per game and made 3-pointers at a 37 percent clip.

Cameron Payne, G

Payne didn't make any impact after coming over from Oklahoma City in a midseason trade, but with Rajon Rondo out of the picture, the 22-year-old will have more opportunities. 

Lauri Markkanen, F

The Arizona product has been touted as a big that can immediately stretch the floor. That's a skill the Bulls covet considering they ranked 25th in 3-point shooting. 

Chris Walker, F

Another former McDonald's All-American, Walker went undrafted out of Florida in 2015. He spent last year with the Rio Grande Vipers, the Houston Rockets' development team. 

Kris Dunn, G

Dunn's rookie woes have been well chronicled. He shot under 40 percent and - different from many other lottery picks - is already 23. The Bulls are high on him, though, and we'll catch a glimpse at his game in Vegas. 

Amida Brimah, C

The 7-footer played four years at Connecticut, shooting near 60 percent in all of his seasons. He's also a rarity in the sense that he shoots fairly well from the line. 

Denzel Valentine, G

Although he was pitched as a guy who could contribute right away, Valentine's rookie season was a disappointment. He shot 35 percent in 51 games. Not ideal. 

Jerrelle Benimon, F

Benimon has bounced around from the G League to China in his professional career. In college, he didn't break into the rotation at Georgetown and ultimately transferred to Towson.

Nikola Jovanovic, C/F

Another shooting big, Jovanovic played his college ball at USC. He eclipsed 45 percent from 3 last season in the G League.