Mike Dunleavy, Jeff Adrien

Report: Bulls sign Mike Dunleavy to two-year, $6 million contract


Update: Marc Stein of ESPN:


Mike Dunleavy has never finished a season with a winning team.

He began 2006-07 with the Warriors, who finished 42-40, but he was traded mid-year to the 35-47 Pacers. Otherwise, he’s spent every season of his career entirely with a loser.

That could change soon.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:


The Bulls went 45-37 last season, and that was without Derrick Rose. They’re likely to be even better once Rose returns, and despite his poor past team record, Dunleavy would help, too.

Obviously, Dunleavy isn’t the caliber of player who can singlehandedly turn a team into a winner, but I don’t think it’s complete coincidence he’s always played with losing teams. Dunleavy has sometimes been picked on defensively, and some rudimentary defensive metrics assign blame equally for all players on the court, which allows Dunleavy to hide his deficiency. He’s not the type of two-way player who winning teams typically give big minutes.

But Dunleavy is a skilled shooter, making a career-best 43 percent of his 3-pointers last season, and Chicago is clearly valuing shooting this offseason. After a year in which their offense stagnated at time, the Bulls drafted a pair of good shooters, New Mexico’s Tony Snell and Florida’s Erik Murphy, and Dunleavy would provide even more help.

As long as the Bulls plan to use him in a limited role – which I bet they do – this is really good value for them. And Dunleavy would appreciate finally playing for a winner, too.

LeBron James posts photo with Tristan Thompson, sends message to Cavs

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
1 Comment

Tristan Thompson is a man without a contract. By not signing the qualifying offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers he put himself in limbo, the rare NBA holdout. Right now his options are to sign the deal on the table (the Cavs still have the five-year, $80 million offer out there), get the Sixers or Blazers to offer him a max contract (which neither team has shown any interest in doing), or hold out and hope the Cavaliers make a better offer. If he holds out for the entire season he becomes a restricted free agent again next summer — exactly like he is right now.

Without signing the qualifying offer and the threat of leaving, Thompson hurt his leverage.

But he has a little leverage. He and his agent Rich Paul had one other card, and it got played Saturday.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron James and Thompson share an agent in Paul. LeBron has largely remained silent through this process but if he wants something in the Cleveland organization, he usually gets it. And he wants Thompson back at practices.

LeBron’s leverage is going to be put to the test. The Cavaliers have let it leak they are not that concerned about LeBron leaving them next summer over this — and they’re right. The damage to LeBron’s brand if he broke the hearts of Cleveland fans again would be crushing, unless he leaves for a very good reason. Overpaying Thompson is not that reason.

However, LeBron’s comment could push the Cavaliers to try to find a compromise.

For the Cavaliers, a lot of how they view all this comes down to their tax bill. The Cavaliers already have $94.9 million in guaranteed salary on the books, putting them $10.2 million over the luxury tax line, at a cost of more than $16.25 million. What this means if (or when) they sign Thompson is his first $10 million in salary would cost them $28.75 million in tax and every dollar above that for the next $5 million costs them $3.75-to-$1. Look at it this way, by my count $14 million this year to Thompson would cost $43.75 million in tax — the total for Thompson at that price is $58 million. While that’s not all on Thompson it’s a lot of cash, and Thompson wants a max deal that starts at more than $16 million a year.

Owner Dan Gilbert is already going to pay the highest tax bill in the NBA this season, but if he balks at those figures it’s hard to blame him.


Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
1 Comment

Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.