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Kris Dunn debunks report he doesn’t want Celtics to draft him

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Kris Dunn averaged 16.4 points per game last season for Providence.Streeter Lecka

Former Providence guard Kris Dunn said reports that he does not want to be selected by the Celtics with the No. 3 pick in next week's NBA Draft are inaccurate.

"I mean, it would be unbelievable to be selected by the Celtics," Dunn said in a telephone interview Thursday morning. "My dream is just to get drafted, and that I have a chance to be a top-five player, it's a blessing."

The Vertical recently reported that Dunn's camp did not want him to be selected by the Celtics or the Suns, two teams that already have young, established backcourts, and that it could withhold medical information from the teams in an attempt to cloud the picture.


Dunn, who has undergone two shoulder surgeries in his career, said he has no intention of avoiding the Celtics.

"I think that's just a rumor going around," Dunn said. "That never came out of my mouth, that I didn't want to play for any team."

Dunn, who is from New London, Conn., said it would be nice to come to Boston because his friends and family members, many of them longtime Celtics fans, would be able to see him play.

Dunn said he has been impressed by the Celtics' development.

"They have great players," he said. "You definitely can tell they're defense-oriented. I don't know Marcus Smart that well, but I played with Marcus Smart at multiple things, AAU at the time, and high school in the McDonald's All-American game. And Isaiah Thomas was an All-Star this year.

"You can see they're on the rise and close to something special. I'm going to be anxious to see what they do next year."

Dunn has been training in California along with several other Creative Artists Agency clients such as Utah's Jakob Poeltl and Wichita State's Ron Baker. He has been trained primarily by former NBA forward Don MacLean.


Dunn has not completed workouts with individual teams, though. According to a league source, Dunn's camp wanted him to compete against other projected top-10 guards like Buddy Hield and Jamal Murray during workouts, but the feeling was not mutual. Murray, for example, came to Boston last week and took part in an individual workout.

When Dunn was asked Thursday about the decision not to visit with individual teams, another person in the room with him stepped in and said he would not be discussing his workouts during the interview.

Regardless, the Celtics already are quite familiar with Dunn given Providence's proximity to Boston, so the lack of one more individual workout with the team probably would not affect their decision-making process.

"We know Kris Dunn pretty well," Celtics director of player personnel Austin Ainge said recently.

Dunn would have been a first-round pick if he had left Providence last year. Instead, he returned this past season and averaged 16.4 points, 6.2 assists, and 5.3 rebounds per game and was named the Big East Player of the Year for the second time in a row, leading the Friars to a first-round NCAA Tournament win over USC.

Dunn said the past few months have been a whirlwind, but he is relishing every moment. He recently took his first dip into acting, filming a commercial for Speed Stick with former Duke forward Brandon Ingram, a likely top-two pick.

Next Thursday, he said, he will be joined in the green room at the NBA Draft by his father, his stepmother, his brother, and Providence coach Ed Cooley.


He will have many other friends and family members in the audience at the Barclays Center.

"I don't want to rush this too much, because you want to enjoy the process," Dunn said. "When [draft] night comes, I'm definitely going to be excited for me and my family to see what team I go to and what pick I'll be. The atmosphere in that building should be fun."

Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at adam.himmelsbach@
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