The Chicago Bulls didn’t make any larger-than-life transactions before the regular season began. But they did make a few decent moves, and it’s only fitting to hand out grades for each one.
All-Star forward Luol Deng, who has been mentioned in trade rumors for years, wasn’t shipped out of town. And the always-criticized Carlos Boozer wasn’t amnestied, although it could very well happen next summer.
Chicago failed to re-sign key free-agent guards such as Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli. Yet, they managed to reel in veteran Mike Dunleavy from the Milwaukee Bucks.
What type of grade does the Dunleavy signing deserve thus far? What about the other Bulls acquisitions or offseason moves?
All stats used are from Basketball-Reference.com and accurate as of 12-10-13.
During training camp, Mike James beat out free agents like Dexter Pittman and D.J. White for the Bulls' final regular-season roster spot.
It made a lot of sense, seeing that he was familiar with coach Tom Thibodeau's system. James appeared in 11 games for Chicago during the 2011-12 campaign.
The 38-year-old point guard has played only six games so far this season, averaging 0.3 points and one assist in 5.8 minutes per contest.
James was a solid pickup, though, as he provides veteran leadership and serves as a mentor for youngster Marquis Teague.
It was basically a given that the Bulls were going to retain Nazr Mohammed.
He did a decent job last season, serving as Joakim Noah’s backup. Plus, he was inexpensive, as the Bulls used the veteran’s minimum to keep him in the Windy City.
This season, Mohammed’s playing time (8.7 minutes per game) has decreased from last year (11 MPG).
Sixth man Taj Gibson has taken some of his time on the court, sliding from power forward to center at times.
Mohammed is currently averaging 1.3 points and 2.6 rebounds a night. But per 36 minutes, he’s putting up 5.3 points and 10.8 rebounds, which sounds a lot better.
While Mohammed isn’t the league’s best backup center, there weren’t many options on the free-agent market.
Chicago scooped up Erik Murphy in the second round of the draft (49th overall pick).
The University of Florida product shot a scorching-hot 45 percent from three-point land during his senior year.
However, he hasn’t knocked down a three yet as a member of the Bulls. Actually, he hasn’t scored a single point.
Murphy has played a total of 15 minutes, producing three rebounds and a block. It looks like it's going to be a long year for the 6'10" power forward.
Although he’ll likely continue to warm the bench as a rookie, Murphy should get a larger role next season and possibly emerge as a dangerous long-range threat.
Bulls management shocked a ton of people on draft night.
The team was expected to take a big man like Gorgui Dieng or Mason Plumlee to back up Joakim Noah.
However, Chicago drafted New Mexico swingman Tony Snell 20th overall instead.
The move has looked great so far, as Snell is currently starting in place of the injured Jimmy Butler.
Doesn’t it sound crazy to think of a rookie starting for the Bulls? Tom Thibodeau usually doesn’t play first-year players much at all; just ask Butler and Marquis Teague. However, Snell is a different story.
In six games as a starter, he’s averaging 10.3 points per contest. That’s not bad for a non-lottery pick rookie.
Snell looked quite impressive against the Cleveland Cavaliers, scoring a career-high 18 points and hitting three of his five three-point attempts.
Mike Dunleavy was acquired to help out in the shooting department.
And that’s what he has done, leading the Bulls in both three-point percentage (42.2) and free-throw percentage (87).
The Bulls lost a pair of quality bench free agents, Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli, this past summer.
Dunleavy isn’t a better scorer than either one of those guys, but he does serve as a solid role player. He can shoot, handle the ball a little, pass and play decently on the defensive end of the floor.
Dunleavy was fantastic during the triple-overtime loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, recording 23 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. He even hit six of his 10 three-point attempts.
Unfortunately though, he’s averaging only 8.8 points, down from his 10.5 last season with the Milwaukee Bucks.