Kris Dunn is set to return but remains low key in discussing his goals

SHARE Kris Dunn is set to return but remains low key in discussing his goals
SHARE Kris Dunn is set to return but remains low key in discussing his goals

CLEVELAND – Fred Hoiberg revealed a lot about his point guard position on Tuesday.

Specifically, it’s about to get a bit more crowded with Kris Dunn (left index finger) likely making his regular-season debut either Thursday or Saturday at the United Center, and that it will remain an open competition for the starting spot currently held by Jerian Grant.

Considering the cloud of controversy already hanging over this Bulls team thanks to Bobby Portis’ punch to Nikola Mirotic’s face last week, Dunn wasn’t about to add to that.

Asked if Thursday was the target date for his return, Dunn said, “I don’t want to give anybody a direct answer right now … just see how it feels.’’

Asked if he was coming after Grant’s starting spot, Dunn replied, “I’m not trying to come back and just go for the starting spot. I want to come back and try to feel comfortable, try to get my rhythm that I had going in the preseason, try to get confidence, try to help my team get wins.’’


Markkanen shines under Portis-Mirotic cloud

TELANDER: Portis’ punch of Mirotic will mar Bulls’ entire season

Not that Dunn doesn’t want to start.

“Eventually, that’s the goal,’’ Dunn added.

But his return will be highly anticipated by the front office, considering Dunn – along with Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen – are the three foundation pieces for the Bulls rebuild.

Markkanen has been starting, LaVine (recovering from ACL surgery) is about a month out from his return, so to get Dunn up and running will allow the Bulls to start the evaluation process on the point guard, who admittedly had a rough rookie season last year in Minnesota.

“Come out there and play with that swag that I used to in college,’’ Dunn said of his pending return. “That’s the big thing. Keep learning every day and try to improve.’’

No worries

Zach LaVine watched the deadline come and go on a possible extension from his rookie contract last week, but reiterated that he wasn’t the least bit concerned about his future.

“I think it’s fine,’’ LaVine said. “Obviously, I want to be here for a long time. And I feel the deal is going to get done – either then or next summer. I don’t have any fear in that. I think I know I’ll be in black and red for a little bit longer.

“The main concern is just getting back on the court, get my legs ready and try to help the team as much as possible until then.’’

That seems to be the path the organization is taking as well. With LaVine still recovering from left ACL surgery, step one is to get him back on the court by December, and then talk money and extension this offseason.

LaVine will be a restricted free agent, and the Bulls will have the ability to match any offer.

Well wishes

Although Derrick Rose was sidelined with a left ankle injury, the Bulls did get another dose of Dwyane Wade, after facing both players two weeks ago in a preseason game.

Hoiberg said there was much less hype about facing Wade this time around, and again was hoping both players enjoy the inevitable Cleveland playoff run.

“Derrick has looked really, really good,’’ Hoiberg said. “So I’m happy for those guys. I’m happy that they’re getting a chance to compete for a championship.’’

The Latest
After our long period of COVID-19 isolation, we have vicariously enjoyed the idea of a free-running animal weighing 1,300 pounds staking out her own turf.
A 22-year-old man was attempting to enter the park in the first block of East Monroe Street but he refused to be checked for weapons at the entry point, police said.
Zalatoris hit the ball on the button whether he was in the fairway or the rough, running off three straight birdies in gentler afternoon conditions for a 5-under 65 and a one-shot lead over Mito Pereira of Chile.
Rising interest rates, high inflation, the war in Ukraine, and a slowdown in China’s economy are all punishing stocks and raising fears about a possible U.S. recession.