They say that once you enter a dance you have to start dancing, even if you don’t want to. That could also be implied when it comes to rebuilding an NBA team. And that’s how most GMs treat the Chicago Bulls at the moment. After their decision to trade away Luol Deng and officially trigger a rebuilding process around Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls are now expected to be open to more trades. That’s what the Houston Rockets believe, too and they have reportedly placed Mike Dunleavy on the wish list of their shopping cart.
Houston definitely needs an upgrade to Terrence Jones at their starting power forward position. What? You said Omer Asik? Forget about this guy, he will be out of Houston sooner than later. Yes, he is injured at the moment and that’s the official reason he doesn’t see playing time. But even when he fully recovers, don’t expect to see him contributing much. Once the glass is broken, it can never be whole again.
Of course, Dunleavy couldn’t defend it, but in scenario that the Rockets acquired him, he could be placed with the starting small forward position while Chandler Parsons could play the power forward spot. Such a lineup would give significant shooting abilities to Kevin McHale’s team, which would be ideal for a team that has a classic, monster center like Dwight Howard in the middle.
Mike Dunleavy is averaging 28.6 minutes per contest this season and he is averaging 11.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists. He is also shooting 45.7 percent from the floor and 41.1 percent from three-point territory. At the moment and after the departure of Luol Deng, he is playing the starting small forward position for the Chicago Bulls. The 33-year old veteran would be a nice addition for the Rockets.
Nonetheless, despite the upgrade in the Rockets’ firepower from long range, Dunleavy has also some weak points. He is not the most athletic forward in the league and he won’t push Houston’s break quickly. With Jeremy Lin, Patrick Beverly and James Harden in the backcourt, it might not be necessary for the Rockets to have another ultra-fast wing player. But since almost the entire team consists of young and energetic players, Dunleavy could be the weak ring of the chain when the team is trying to pun the break.
On the other hand, he has a very team-friendly contract, just $6 million over this season and the next one and even if he is acquired, the Rockets could add yet another player in their frontcourt. Most probably the Chicago Bulls would require a draft pick or two to give away Dunleavy. Maybe the Rockets will have to throw in one of their players in the mix, too.
The Bulls are looking for ways to enhance the rebuilding process, even if they won’t admit it. So it’s very probable they move away players like Dunleavy, in their effort to bring in young talent, which can work in sync with Derrick Rose over the next few seasons.