Ricky Rubio out indefinitely with sprained elbow, opens door for Kris Dunn
Rubio's injury means rookie Kris Dunn will play a larger role on the Wolves
After the first 20 games of the season had past, rookie Kris Dunn reportedly was going to become the Timberwolves' starting point guard. Now looks like Dunn will be the Timberwolves starting point guard much sooner than that.
On Monday, the Timberwolves announced that Ricky Rubio will be out indefinitely after spraining his right elbow in the fourth quarter of Minnesota's loss to the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. Rubio left the game and did not return.
With Rubio injured, the Timberwolves will likely turn to Dunn. But according to The Star Tribune's Kent Youngblood, Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau has not made Dunn's move to the starting lineup official. The former Providence star appears to be ready for the opportunity.
Dunn seemed completely unfazed by the prospect of starting in his first professional home opener.
"I feel I've been getting good minutes," he said. "I've been playing in some tough situations the last two games. And that's the type of games I like to play in. So Ricky, if he doesn't have the chance to play tomorrow night, or any other games, I'll have to step up and be ready.''
Besides for Dunn, the Timberwolves could turn to second-year player Tyus Jones or the John Lucas III. But Lucas has been inactive in Minnesota's first two games and Jones did not play in either game.
Dunn has been running Minnesota's second unit to start the season and is averaging 17.5 minutes a game. His performances so far have shown flashes of the potential that made him the No. 5 overall pick in June. In Minnesota's first game, Dunn finished with eight points, four rebounds, an assist and a steal in a little over 15 minutes. Then in the Timberwolves' second game, Dunn had four points and four assists in just under 20 minutes.
A promotion to the starting lineup would certainly speed Dunn's development, he would have to quickly do some on-the-job training. But in an expanded role, Dunn could potentially thrive and give a glimpse of the future playing alongside Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns and Zach LaVine.
For Rubio, this is just the latest setback to his career, which has been filled with numerous injuries. At this point, Rubio does not need surgery. A promising sign as he could return relatively soon. But until Rubio returns, the Timberwolves will likely turn to Dunn, a move that was bound to happen at some point in the season.
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