The Milwaukee Bucks began the 2013 NBA free agency with a dud. Shooting guard Mike Dunleavy signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Chicago Bulls on Monday, which is a move that could potentially rock Milwaukee. There is no question the Bucks have made a huge mistake by letting their sixth man go.
Dunleavy has been a huge part of Milwaukee’s offense since his arrival in 2011-12. In his first season with the team, he averaged 12.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 26.3 minutes per game off the bench. He also shot 47.4 percent from the field and 39.9 percent from beyond the arc. His numbers dropped off a tad this past season, but he was still an effective player. Dunleavy averaged 10.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. More importantly, he converted a career-high 42.8 percent of his 4.0 3-point field goal attempts per contest.
The 32-year-old was one of the best sixth mans the Bucks had on their roster in recent memory. There were times when he completely took over games by knocking down long-range shots. In order to be successful, teams need a player like Dunleavy to bring a certain spark off the bench. Milwaukee had their guy but now he is gone.
The Bulls are a perfect fit for Dunleavy, who will do wonders for the organization. The Bucks will now have to find another way to continue the momentum off the bench, which will most likely occur through free agency. Now more than ever Milwaukee must re-sign shooting guard J.J. Redick because the team cannot afford to lose two sharpshooters in the same offseason.