Kris Dunn was supposed to be the Chicago Bulls point guard of the future, but could they move forward with Ryan Arcidiacono instead?
Time for a pop quiz. Who is fourth in the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio? If you guessed Chicago Bulls back-up guard Ryan Arcidiacono, you are correct and probably did some googling. This is the same Arcidiacono who went undrafted out of Villanova, shooting just under 40 percent, then bounced around the NBA’s Summer and G-League for a couple of seasons.
But Arcidiacono continued to work, gain confidence and get better. In addition to taking care of the ball, Arcidiacono’s 3-point percentage is up from 29 percent last year in 24 games as a rookie, to 37 percent in his second season. Arcidiacono has started to feel like he belongs.
“There was a couple times earlier this year I played well for my standards, and I guess well for the people on the outside as well. I was like, you know, I can play in this league,” Arcidiacono reflected after a recent home game. “Its a great situation here for me to impact the team and I think I have taken advantage of the opportunity.”
Kris Dunn was supposed to be the future at point guard for the Bulls but where are we now? Dunn has seen his minutes in the fourth quarter shrink. His chemistry with Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen is still a work in progress. The team seems to play better with Arcidiacono on the floor. The Bulls have been doing more winning as of late, six of nine before LaVine went out for three games with a patellar tendon strain. During that stretch, Arcidiacono flourished, 31 assists against only six turnovers.
These are big games for Arcidiacono, and seemingly for Dunn. The Bulls have until June 29 to decide if they want to make Arcidiacono a qualifying offer, which would then make Arcidiacono a restricted free agent.
“If I can take advantage of the opportunity now of finishing the season strong, I think I will have hopefully an offer from another team,” Arcidiacono opined. “I just try to stay humble about it and if I get one great and go from there.”
That doesn’t mean Arcidiacono wants to leave Chicago.
“Just to be wanted, wherever you are wanted,” Arcidiacono explained. “I mean I love it here. Chicago is a great city. This team is trending in the right direction. Hopefully, if I am here next year, if we figure something out, I can have an impact on that team next year. Love this team, love these guys and I’ll figure all that out after the season.”
Depending on draft position, Murray State point guard Ja Morant could be Bulls choice. Would the Bulls then keep Dunn around, make him a combo back-up guard, a role he might not embrace? Or, could trading Dunn and moving on with Arcidiacono, who can also play both guard sports, make more sense?
These are questions the Bulls are certainly debating as they move into another key summer.