Dunleavy Already Fitting In With Bulls
There are a million reasons that Mike Dunleavy, Jr. was the perfect signing for the Chicago Bulls this past offseason, so it’s hard to decide where to begin an exposition praising him for finding his way to the Windy City.
For starters, Dunleavy is coming off a year in which he shot a career-high 42.8 percent from deep, giving the Bulls their first consistent three point threat since bidding adieu to Kyle Korver over a year ago. He’s very efficient offensively all-around and has a reputation as an excellent cutter. That should do wonders for the Bulls’ halfcourt game and keep defenders honest when considering double-teams for Joakim Noah or Carlos Boozer.
Also, on a defense-first team like Chicago, Dunleavy is a really good team defender and a respectable individual defender. Perhaps best of all, he was cheap, taking a pay cut despite more lucrative offers so that he could sign with a team in Chicago that would give him a real shot at a championship.
For that reason, this jack-of-all-trades is very excited to give his new team everything he can.
“Honestly, I’ll do anything these guys want me to do,” Dunleavy told HOOPSWORLD. “I’ve been in the league for eleven years and haven’t tasted a whole lot of winning. Seriously, I’ll do absolutely anything to win.”
And winning was everything to Dunleavy when deciding which team he’d sign with this past offseason. Not only has he found a winning franchise in Chicago, but the fit—in terms of both personnel and professionalism—has been perfect early on.
“That was certainly one of my goals in free agency was to find a team that could not only compete to make the playoffs, but to compete for the whole thing,” Dunleavy said. “I think I found a team like that here with the Bulls. I’m excited about the coaching staff, my teammates and really everything that Chicago has to offer.”
Two of those teammates are former Duke alumni, and Dunleavy even won a NCAA National Championship with Carlos Boozer in 2001. So not only does he fit into the Bulls’ offensive and defensive schemes, he’s also playing with friends.
Despite not being a particularly flashy signing, Dunleavy has been embraced by the city of Chicago already, as fans there already are ready to see if new additions and the return of Derrick Rose can usher the team back into championship contention.
Dunleavy, for his part, is optimistic that his experience in Chicago will be a good one.
“It’s a short move (from Milwaukee), but it feels like it’s been a big one,” he said. “I’m just getting settled in here and getting ready for training camp. What a great city, and a great place to play basketball. Really to play any sport, but you can just sense around town that people are excited for this season.”
And they should be. Adding a free agent bargain like Dunleavy to an already-loaded roster is cause for celebration. The only thing left to do is prove that the acquisition of Dunleavy is as good in real life as it looks on paper.
Boy, does it look good on paper.