The Runner Sports

Mike Dunleavy to the Chicago Bulls

Mike Dunleavy, newest Chicago Bull

Mike Dunleavy, Newest Chicago Bull.

Who He Is: 6’9 Mike Dunleavy has played 11 NBA seasons after coming to the NBA following his Junior year at Duke. The sharpshooter was drafted 3rd overall in 2002 by the Golden State Warriors. He played for the Warriors for 4 and a half years, but was traded to the Indiana Pacers halfway through the 06-07 season. He proceded to play with the Pacers for 4 and a half years, having his best season in 07-08 when he put up 19.1 PPG on 48% shooting and 42% shooting from deep. He played his last two seasons for the Milwaukee Bucks. 

How He’s a Bull: Mike Dunleavy verbally agreed to a 2 year, $6 million contract with the Chicago Bulls on Monday, July 1st. The 6’9 shooting guard/small forward turned down a bigger offer, rumored to be slightly over the Mid Level Exception, from another suitor for the opportunity to play with Derrick Rose, and play for a contender. The Bulls are using their Mini-Mid Level Exception to sign Dunleavy.

How He Plays: Dunleavy may be 6’9, but he will not be posting up opposing defenders any time soon. Dunleavy plays around the perimeter, moving very well without the ball, and converting on catch and shoot opportunities. He isn’t afraid to shoot, and has a pretty stroke and high release that allows him to shoot over pretty much any player defending him. Dunleavy can finish around the basket as well, shooting 67.2% from the basket area last season, but he won’t go down on the block, rather he finds opportunities cutting to the basket. He has a pretty good pump fake that allows him to get to the free throw line, and showed an ability to shoot very well off the dribble last season. Dunleavy can also contribute well on defense. Though he will not rack up steals or blocks, he rarely makes mistakes, and his basketball IQ allows him to be a very smart defender.

How He’ll Fit: Dunleavy will be a key member off the bench as a primary wing. He will back up both Jimmy Butler at the 2, and Luol Deng at the 3. He will play the role filled by Marco Belinelli last season, and Kyle Korver before that as the go to three point shooter for the second unit. He will also see opportunities to play next to Rose, creating many catch and shoot opportunities. He also will not be a defensive liability. Dunleavy held opposing small forwards to a paltry 10.1 PER against him, and plays smart defense, which Tom Thibodeau likes. After converting on 43% of his threes last season, Dunleavy could possibly see minutes at the end of big games when the Bulls need to hit a 3 or two with the clock winding down.


Overall this is an interesting move for the Bulls. They were quick to make the decision to use their entire Mini-MLE on Dunleavy day one, but then again he is a talent they are getting at a lower price tag than he could command. With this signing, the Bulls can only sign free agents for the Veteran’s Minimum for the rest of free agency. However, with the roster pretty much set, and Nazr Mohammed almost guaranteed to come back, the Bulls really only need to add another veteran big and possibly another wing.


(Photo source)


Author: Rob Wegley

Co-Owner of The Runner Sports, Senior Editor for The Runner Sports, Writer for The Runner Sports focused on the NFL and the NBA. Located in the Chicago area. Professional journalist since 2012.