Bulls season preview: Mike Dunleavy Jr.

Bulls season preview: Mike Dunleavy Jr.
September 26, 2013, 6:30 pm
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Bulls Player Previews

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The most significant new addition to the Bulls, veteran wing Mike Dunleavy Jr. will naturally be compared to former fan favorite Kyle Korver because of their shared sharpshooting ability.

Dunleavy might not be quite the equal of Korver, one of the elite marksmen of his time, as a pure shooter, but while he isn’t far off that lofty standard, he brings more to the table as a complete player. By no means a lockdown individual defender, his size and length will help in that area and being a coach’s son and well-traveled since entering the league, he should not only pick up on Thibodeau’s defensive scheme quickly — coming in early to work out at the Berto Center probably helps get a feel for things, too — but also buoy the Bulls with his overlooked, valuable knack for drawing offensive fouls.

Offensively, while the first thing that jumps out is his high-level long-range shooting, Dunleavy is also capable of putting the ball on the floor and is a capable passer, which fits his new team’s ball-moving tendencies. Not that Thibodeau will plan on going small too often, but Dunleavy’s size and the defensive versatility of wing starters Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler do make for some intriguing lineup possibilities, particularly to match up against teams that prefer a small-ball style of play. Ranking even higher than his ability to blend in, playmaking talents or even defense-stretching shooting is his desire to win.

As reported when he signed with the Bulls early in free agency, Dunleavy turned down more money elsewhere to come to Chicago, as he saw an opportunity to experience the postseason success that’s eluded him throughout his career. The ties to Derrick Rose through their agency, Kirk Hinrich from crossing paths since their high-school days, fellow Duke products Deng and Carlos Boozer, his college teammate, certainly don’t hurt, but as a coveted player on the open market with multiple options, the namesake of former NBA player, head coach and general manager Mike Dunleavy Sr. surely evaluated his options carefully and having most recently played for Central Division rival Milwaukee, the fact that he chose the Bulls shouldn’t be downplayed.

 

Make sure to check out all the Bulls previews, each spotlighting this season's expectations for individual players and head coach Tom Thibodeau:

Starters

Derrick Rose

Jimmy Butler

Carlos Boozer

Joakim Noah

Luol Deng

Bench

Taj Gibson

Nazr Mohammed

Erik Murphy

Tony Snell

Kirk Hinrich

Marquis Teague

Coach

Tom Thibodeau