The Chicago Bulls haven’t been incredibly active thus far in NBA Free Agency, but they have made arguably the best signing of the summer for any team. Early in free agency talks, the Bulls agreed to terms with shooting guard Mike Dunleavy to a deal that will pay him $6.5 million over the next two seasons.
There are several reasons why the Dunleavy signing is so fantastic, the first of which is that it fits such an immediate need for the Bulls. Though the Bulls have a couple of very talented wing players in Jimmy Butler in Luol Deng, neither of those players are really consistent offensive threats. The Bulls are a great defensive team, but adding offense on the wings would elevate them to another level.
Luckily for them, Dunleavy is one of the most underrated offensive bench players in the league. Last year with the Milwaukee Bucks, Dunleavy averaged 10.5 points, 1.9 assists and 3.9 boards per game while shooting 44.2 percent from the field and a fantastic 42.8 percent from three in 25.9 minutes per game. His three-point shooting ability is important to Chicago as the Bulls were next-to-last in the league last year in terms of three-pointers made per game.
People really don’t understand how good Dunleavy is offensively. Last year, he was the 34th best player in the league in terms of points per possession, averaging 1.03. Moreover, 31.4 percent of his plays were in spot-up situations where he averaged 1.2 points per possession, the 27th best mark in the league.
In addition to that, Dunleavy isn’t a slouch defensively either. He’s not great by any means, but he’s able to use his long frame and quickness to get into position and not make too many mistakes. With the Bulls defensive system, he will definitely not cause them problems on that end of the floor.
The biggest reason that Dunleavy to the Bulls is such a great signing is the fact that they are getting him at such a good price. For most players of his offensive caliber, you’re probably going to be paying $5 million per year at minimum. To get him at just over $3 million per year is an absolute steal.
The Bulls are going to be much better in the 2013-2014 season and a lot of that is going to be due to the return of Derrick Rose. However, you also can’t understate how much Dunleavy is going to help this team. He’s going to make them a more potent offensive team, which could put them in prime position to challenge the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference.