The Chicago Bulls moved quickly to fortify their bench, getting a commitment from former Milwaukee Bucks forward Mike Dunleavy. Dunleavy is set to sign a two-year, $6 million contract using the taxpayer mid-level exception once the free-agent moratorium ends on July 10.
This is a nice move for the Bulls as Dunleavy has always been an undervalued asset, posting excellent perimeter shooting numbers while also showing his underrated skills as a passer. His plus-minus ratings in 2011-12 and 2012-13 have been excellent, speaking to his diverse offensive game and the ability to position himself properly on both ends, even if he's not a dynamic defensive player.
Dunleavy is coming off a season where he shot 43 percent from three-point range, and it wasn't just while spotting up from beyond the arc. Dunleavy shot 45 percent (70-156) on spot-up threes, 45 percent (25-56) on threes coming off screens and a torrid 48 percent (32-67) on transition threes, according to MySynergySports.com.
This is not just a player that stands around and benefits from the skills of star players. This is someone that you can run plays for and will make shots under those circumstances. When Dunleavy was getting his minutes, the Bucks would often run him through a maze of screens, using his off-ball movement to open up shots for him and his teammates. That should make Dunleavy a great fit in Tom Thibodeau's Flex offense.
The one downside to the signing is that Dunleavy's arrival may signal Marco Belinelli's departure. Dunleavy is a better player, but the Bulls will miss Belinelli's ball-handling and playmaking on their second unit. The loss is minimal, though, and the Bulls badly needed a backup to Luol Deng anyway. Dunleavy fits that bill and should also get plenty of time with Deng in small lineups.
All in all, an excellent signing.