Grade the deal: Bulls, Mike Dunleavy agree to three-year, $14.4 million deal

Wednesday July 1st, 2015

Mike Dunleavy Jr. and the Chicago Bulls have agreed to a three-year, $14.4 million deal, reports Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.

Dunleavy, 34, started 63 games for the Bulls, averaging 9.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. He became a free agent when his two-year, $6 million contract with the Bulls expired at the end of the season.

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly also had strong interest in Dunleavy after their 4-2 series victory over the Bulls in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Wojnarowski also reports the deal includes a partial guarantee in the third year of the contract. The contract cannot be signed until July 9, when the league lifts a moratorium on player business.

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Analysis: The common denominator between Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson, and Joakim Noah is the interior focus of their respective scoring games. With that, it’s crucial for the Bulls to have complementary players who take to low-usage perimeter roles with ease. Dunleavy is just that. He’s an accurate three-point shooter and willing ball-mover who plays exactly the way that Chicago should aim to under coach Fred Hoiberg.

Even at 34 years old, athletic decline isn’t a glaring concern; Dunleavy is protected defensively by the help of players like Butler, Gibson, and Noah and limited on offense to playing only in the ways he’s most comfortable. Besides, this kind of deal – which isn’t fully guaranteed in its third season, according to initial reports – is a terrific value for a support player relative to the market. Dunleavy is one of the steadiest shooters available. That he could be re-signed on such a team-friendly deal is a quiet triumph for Chicago. Rob Mahoney

Grade: A-

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