By Nikos Varlas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The team that started off most aggressively in the European transfer market is Anadolu Efes. They signed Derrick Brown and Bryant Dunston and they are also trying to get Jayson Granger to sign. It is clear that Dusan Ivkovic’s team will have a bigger budget next season and even higher aspirations. Let’s analyze this move involving Olympiacos’s ex-player.
A graduate of Fordham college, Bryant Dunston was not selected in the draft and had a hard time finding a good first professional contract. For this reason he found himself in the Korean championship with Mobis. Then a short stint with Aris Thessaloniki followed and then the career in Israel. Bnei Hasharon and Hapoel Holon. The summer of 2012 he signed with Varese and his appearances (14.2 points with 62% in two-point field goals and good indicators in all statistics) became his “passport” for signing with Olympiacos in the following summer as the successor to Kyle Hines.
As has happened with several Americans in the last four years in Olympiacos, he established himself with the reds at the top level and his value was catapulted. He had a great first season, he unfolded several virtues on the court in offense as well as in defense and he won the best defensive player award two seasons in a row!
The highlight of his career with the Greek team was his performance in the playoff series in 2014, except for the 5th quarterfinal. In his second season his range in offense and his effectiveness were somewhat diminished when he had to finish plays with the opposing defense all over him. He remained effective enough in pick and rolls and he improved his performance in the last two months.
The prediction: Useful, but not a leadership influence
Bryant Dunston is a very useful addition for any top team. But he is not the player who will make the difference and he hasn’t proven that he has a leader’s personality. The best defensive player awards are somewhat misleading. While he has good timing in blocks, in any situation in defense that calls for fast feet (switches or hedge outs) he has a problem and concedes baskets easily. He’s not good in helping out either as he is usually slow to react and realize what he needs to do.
He will have some influence on defense, he’s not the super rebounder and his offensive performances will depend on how well others will work for him and with him, players such as Heurtel, Osman and the other guards that Ivkovic has. He starts with a disadvantage with regard to productivity and his averages in offense since there is no Vassilis Spanoulis in Efes. Lastly, an important role will be played by the way Dusan Ivkovic is going to use him. He is a player – and this is normal – who needs time to find his rhythm, especially in offense.