Kris Dunn is scheduled to get his first start of the season Wednesday when the Bulls face the Thunder.
It’s not at Jerian Grant’s expense.
Dunn will replace Justin Holiday, who didn’t travel with the team after his wife gave birth to the couple’s first child late Monday.
“We’re very happy for them with their first child,” coach Fred Hoiberg said of the Holidays. “A great moment, obviously, to become a parent and really exciting times for Justin.”
Because Hoiberg said it’s undetermined who will start at small forward, it’s possible — if not likely — Dunn would’ve started anyway, with Holiday sliding to small forward if he had been available. That’s the look Hoiberg used to start Saturday’s second half against the Spurs, with Holiday playing small forward for the slumping Paul Zipser.
If Zipser doesn’t start Wednesday, look for Denzel Valentine to get a shot.
“It gives us two ballhandlers out there, which we feel is important. We want two guys who can get into the paint,” Hoiberg said of Grant and Dunn starting together. “Jerian has shown early on he’s done a really good job of taking care of the basketball. That’s going to be important in this game.”
Dunn started seven games for the Timberwolves last season.
Forward thinking: Lauri Markkanen practiced Tuesday and is on track to play after missing the second half of the Spurs loss with a sprained left ankle.
“I’ve done my treatment,” Markkanen said.
At 14.5 points per game, Markkanen ranks fifth in scoring among a strong rookie class. Markkanen missed out on the annual rookie orientation in New York because he was playing for Finland at the EuroBasket tournament.
But he’s taking pride in his draft class.
“We’re all young guys and it’s good to see that they’re doing well too,” Markkanen said. “It feels good to have rookies who are making an impact on pretty much every team. I don’t really pay attention to stats or anything like that. Just watching the game and how they’re playing.”
Rolling Thunder: The Bulls lost by 32 points to the Thunder last month, which served as this season’s biggest deficit until Saturday’s 39-point debacle at the Spurs.
“They’ve got so much talent on that roster,” Hoiberg said of the Thunder. “They really just went to the matchup that was most favorable, lined us up and got whatever they wanted. We didn’t offer a lot of resistance in that game. And offensively, we were a disaster. Our spacing was poor. Our cutting was poor. When we started missing shots, it affected every aspect of our game.”
Wednesday’s preview: Bulls at Thunder »
Nikola Mirotic returns to Bulls practice — but avoids Bobby Portis »