Within three hours of the start of free agency, the Atlanta Hawks reportedly agreed to a lucrative, three-year contract with veteran forward Danilo Gallinari. By any description, that was a significant investment for the Hawks, but Atlanta’s massive stockpile of salary cap space allowed the front office to continue exploring impactful options. To that end, the Hawks reportedly followed up the Gallinari move by agreeing to a two-year contract with defense-first guard Kris Dunn.
Free agent guard Kris Dunn has agreed to a two-year, $10M deal with the Atlanta Hawks, sources tell ESPN. Player option on the second year.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 21, 2020
Dunn was one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA last season, appearing in 51 games for the Chicago Bulls. In Atlanta, he can provide that force and impact at the point of attack, and Dunn is also physical enough to defend multiple positions.
Offensively, Dunn is less stellar, with a career 30.6 percent mark from three-point range and underwhelming overall numbers. On the positive side, he did post a career-best true shooting percentage (51.0 percent) and vastly improved finishing numbers (65 percent shooting at the rim) in his fourth season, and Dunn is a high-pedigree player as a former lottery pick.
The player option will be interesting to monitor, but pending further details, Dunn’s contract could slot in for the room exception. The Room MLE is $4,767,000 which, if accompanied by a five percent raise, ends up as $9,772,350 total over two seasons. That could round up to the $10 million reported figure. If so, Atlanta would be able to maintain the same level of salary cap space they enjoyed after the Gallinari agreement (between $23.3 and $25.4 million), and that would allow for maximum flexibility.
Stay tuned as more emerges.