The Bulls have agreed to sign unrestricted free agent forward Mike Dunleavy to a multi-year contract, according to multiple reports.
ESPN.com and the Journal-Sentinel both reported Monday that Dunleavy, who spent the last two seasons with the Bucks, will sign a two-year, $6 million contract with the Bulls. Chicago will sign Dunleavy using its taxpayer (mini mid-level) exception, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Free agency officially opened on Monday, July, 1 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time. Although teams and players can begin having contact as of July 1, deals cannot be officially consummated until the end of the free agency moratorium on July 10.
Dunleavy, 32, averaged 10.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game for the Bucks last season. Although he occupied a reserve role in Milwaukee, Dunleavy played the fourth-most minutes among Bucks players last season and posted the best plus-minus (+1.4) among regular rotation players, per NBA.com/stats. An unselfish, versatile and skilled all-around player who shot a career-best 42.8 percent from deep last season, Dunleavy will get the opportunity in Chicago to make the first deep run through the playoffs of his career. In 11 years with the Warriors, Pacers and Bucks, Dunleavy has just nine postseason appearances to his name and he's never played for a team that has advanced out of the first round.
With a number of guards and wings -- most notably Marco Belinelli -- hitting free agency this summer, the Bulls had a rotation hole to plug off the ball. All-Star point guard Derrick Rose will be back in the fold as the primary ball-handler next season, Luol Deng is expected to occupy his customary high-minutes role at the three, and the up-and-coming Jimmy Butler pencils into major backcourt minutes. Dunleavy will join that mix with clear marching orders: move the ball, knock down open shots and play intelligent defense. He's capable of handling those tasks, he played in 88 percent of Milwaukee's games over the last two seasons, and his per-minute stats have been fairly steady over the last four seasons. Grade: B+. Having already committed to enough contracts to push their payroll into the luxury tax for next season, Bulls fans were likely concerned that management might pinch pennies this offseason. Dunleavy clearly isn't a game-changing addition but he does allow Chicago to keep up in an Eastern Conference arms race that has seen Indiana (C.J. Watson), Brooklyn (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Andray Blatche) and New York (Andrea Bargnani) make moves of note over the past week. A no-ego, team-first player hoping to put a postseason stamp on a long and prosperous career, Dunleavy arrives in Chicago at seemingly just the right time. The length of this deal protects the Bulls against a sudden, age-induced erosion of his skills and its total cost is slightly less than what the Bucks paid for him two years ago.