Why Mike Dunleavy Will Be Valuable Addition to Chicago Bulls' Bench

James Tillman IIIAnalyst IJuly 8, 2013

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 26:  Mike Dunleavy #17 of the Milwaukee Bucks at American Airlines Center on February 26, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls have not been major players in the free-agency market. However, the team did take a step in bolstering its bench by reaching a verbal agreement with Mike Dunleavy on a two-year deal worth $6 million.

While Dunleavy will be 33 years old by the time the 2013-14 season begins, here are a couple of reasons why he will be a valuable piece to the team's rotation.


Perimeter Shooting

 The Bulls ranked 29th in scoring last season at 93 points per contest and were tied for 20th in the league in three-point shooting at 35 percent.

Mike Dunleavy averaged 10.5 points for the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2012-13 campaign, but more importantly, he also shot the ball well from distance.

According to Mike Prada of SB Nation, Dunleavy’s 43 percent shooting from beyond the arc in 2012-13 only tells a small part of how he can punish the opposition from the perimeter. Dunleavy also shot 45 percent from the field on spot-up three-pointers, 45 percent from beyond the arc coming off screens and a remarkable 48 percent from three-point range in transition.

Opposing teams will no longer be able to focus on Derrick Rose because, if they do, Dunleavy will make them pay.


Solid Backup for Luol Deng

Last year, Luol Deng led the league in minutes played per game for the second consecutive season with 38.7 and he also shouldered the scoring burden in Rose’s absence with 16.5 points per contest through 75 regular-season games.

However, he missed the final two games against the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs and all of the second-round series against the Miami Heat.

Whether or not fatigue played a factor with Deng’s health toward the end of Chicago’s playoff run remains to be seen. What we do know is the Bulls were in need of a player who can come off the bench and be productive in Deng’s absence.

Dunleavy fits that mold perfectly.

The only potential downside of signing Dunleavy is players such as Marco Belinelli and Nate Robinson became expendable.

Belinelli has already agreed to a two-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs and Nate Robinson, who was a major spark plug off the bench last season, will more than likely play for another team next year simply because the Bulls cannot afford to keep him.

So while Bulls fans will miss Belinelli and Robinson, Dunleavy will be a valuable addition to the bench.

Furthermore, if Chicago can stay healthy, it will be one of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference next season.