Michael Dunigan is one of the more off-the-radar types in the 2011 NBA Draft, but he's doing his best to fix that by participating in last week's official NBA Draft Combine as well as this afternoon's pre-draft workout being hosted by the Minnesota Timberwolves and attended by a majority of the NBA teams.
Dunigan, a 6-foot-10, 240 pound center, spent two seasons as an Oregon Duck before deciding to hire agent Mike Naiditch to help the 21-year-old Chicago native earn some money (and experience) with a season abroad after the coach that originally recruited him -- Ernie Kent -- was fired.
Surprisingly, this move also helped his NBA draft status quite a bit. As Draft Express's Jonathan Givony wrote on Twitter, "Michael Dunigan was an overweight, underachieving former top-30 high school recruit at Oregon. Went to Europe and turned his career around."
Dunigan's Eurotrip landed him in Estonia with BC Kalev where he'd win the championship while averaging 11.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks (second best in the league) over the course of 25 games with just 22 minutes of playing time. Estonia isn't the basketball mecca of the world, of course, but rarely does an American without any professional experience go to Europe and find success like Dunigan
Dunigan spent the majority of his time in the post, as one would expect a true big man to do, and came with positive results as he converted on half of his attempts according to data provided to me via Synergy Sports Technology. He was able to establish good post positioning, often battling with his defender down low, before typically utilizing an array of turn-around jumpers and baby hooks. It's great to see he knows how to score in the paint, but his team didn't utilize the pick-and-roll as often as one hoping to evaluate Dunigan's NBA potential would like, leaving a bit of a question mark as to how effective he'll be without the ball on the offensive end.
On defense, Dunigan typically gave up position in the low-post just as easily as he gets it on the offensive end, but showed enough length and athleticism to block (or alter) his opponent's shots to keep himself as a plus-defender by way of Estonia standards. If he's able to list that as a talent as far as the NBA is concerned is still up in the air, however, as he seems more interested in blocking shots than he is at playing fundamental defense.
Dunigan's rebounding is a bit up in the air as it's tough to judge based on numbers alone, but the fact that he was able to average over three per game on the offensive end alone is certainly encouraging.
As far as his tangible measurements are concerned, Dunigan came out of the combine with a 7-foot-3¼ wingspan and 8-foot-11½ standing reach with hands big enough that people won't accuse him of having the hands seen on that Burger King commercial.
For more on Dunigan, I leave you with the following audio/visual representations!
That video, uploaded by his agent, came with the following description:
"Money Tape" is the term agents use for describing a video that gets their client a job.
In this full segment Mike Dunigan (only 21 years old) shows off an array of post moves against an experienced Azovmash club. This is not a highlight tape. I cut out a few free throws and that's it. You are seeing the first 7 minutes of the game.
Judge for yourself.
His NBA Draft Combine interview via the excellent Jonathan Givony.
And last, but not least, video of a workout being run by Mike Procopio at Attack Athletics in Chicago last week:
After all of that, is Mike Dunigan a player you'd like your team to take a flier on (he's currently projected 58th overall by Draft Express)?