Bulls, Mike Dunleavy agree to two-year deal
BY MARK POTASH email@example.com July 1, 2013 10:16PM
Draft picks Tony Snell (left) and Erik Murphy huddle with GM Gar Foreman at the Berto Center on Monday. | M. Spencer Green~AP
Updated: August 3, 2013 6:37AM
The Bulls reached an agreement with free-agent shooting guard Mike Dunleavy Jr. on a two-year contract, an NBA source confirmed Monday. The deal is worth about $6 million.
The 6-9, 230-pound Dunleavy, an 11-year veteran from Duke, played the last two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. He averaged 10.5 points in 26 minutes as a sixth man last season. He shot 42 percent from three-point range (128-for-299), eighth-best in the NBA.
He effectively replaces Marco Belinelli, who averaged 9.6 points and shot 35.7 percent on three-pointers last season. As effective as Belinelli was for coach Tom Thibodeau, Dunleavy is considered an upgrade — a better shooter and more versatile, better at creating his own shot and more capable of giving Luol Deng a breather at small forward.
Dunleavy, 32, was one of the best available shooters in free agency. The opportunity for postseason success likely was a lure. He has been in the playoffs only twice and lost in the first round both times — in 2010-11 with the Indiana Pacers and last season with the Bucks, when he averaged 12.3 points per game (7-for-16 three-pointers) against the eventual champion Miami Heat.
Per NBA rules, the deal can’t be finalized until
Snell loves Pip
With his long arms and wiry, athletic build, Tony Snell figures to have a mentor in Scottie Pippen.
‘‘I follow Scottie Pippen. He’s kind of like the same height and wingspan,’’ said the 6-7 Snell, the Bulls’ first-round draft pick. ‘‘I just kind of watch his game.’’
Like Pippen, Snell developed as a guard in high school before a late growth spurt turned him into a forward with guard skills and eventually an ace defender.
Snell, a Riverside, Calif., product, met Pippen at the Berto Center on Monday. His eyes lit up at the mere mention of Pippen.
‘‘I was speechless,’’ Snell said. ‘‘Meeting Scottie Pippen — a Hall of Famer — It was pretty great. I know he’s going to help me get better.’’
Snell looks like he will fit in well with Thibodeau. He seems to enjoy the idea of being a great defender. And Thibodeau is among the best to learn from.
‘‘Defense wins games — I stress it, too,’’ Snell said. ‘‘I learned to play defense my freshman year [at New Mexico]. It was a tough transition from high school to college. My coach [Steve Alford] taught me how to play defense better. As I got older and stronger, it became better.’’
Forward Erik Murphy of Florida, the Bulls’ second-round pick, figures to have a mentor in Gator-for-life Joakim Noah. The two are well-acquainted.
‘‘He might have the highest motor in the NBA,’’ Murphy said.
Where does he fit in the NBA?
‘‘Being from Florida and being able to shoot it, a lot of people have [made] the Matt Bonner comparison. There are definitely some similarities,’’ said Murphy. ‘‘Maybe a little Steve Novak or Ryan Anderson type. There are some big guys who can step back and shoot it and stretch the floor.’’
Contributing: Joe Cowley