Mike Dunleavy Jr. labelled reports that indicated he wanted a buyout from the Hawks “pretty inaccurate” and believes he’ll fit right in with the team, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports. The Hawks were hoping to find another team for the 36-year-old swingman when he was included in the deal that delivered sharpshooter Kyle Korver to the Cavaliers, Vivlamore continues. Dunleavy has since received assurances from coach Mike Budenholzer that he’ll get some playing time, though he will not immediately become part of the rotation. “I fit in as far as the way I play,” Dunleavy told Vivlamore. “I move, cut, shoot, pass. That’s the way this team is structured. It’s not a matter of what are you going to do for me or how am I going to fit in. It didn’t take much explaining.”
In other news around the Eastern Conference:
- In the aftermath of the Korver trader, the $9.6MM trade exception that the Cavaliers gained in the trade that sent Anderson Varejao to the Trail Blazers last February has been reduced to $4.4MM, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical tweets. That exception will expire on February 20, Wojnarowski continues. The Cavs created two more exceptions worth $4.8MM and $2.2MM in the deal that also shipped Mo Williams and a protected 2019 first-round pick to Atlanta. Those exceptions will expire on February 7, 2018, Wojnarowski adds.
- Bucks center Greg Monroe is a long way from deciding whether to exercise the player option on his contract, according to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Monroe has a $17.8MM option this summer in the final year of his three-year, $50MM deal. “I’m not thinking about anything like the off-season right now,” he told Gardner. “There is a time and place for everything. If and when I have to make a decision, that time is not right now.” Monroe, the subject of heavy trade speculation during the offseason, has boosted his stock with his play this season, averaging 10.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists as the leader of the second unit.
- Sixers big man Nerlens Noel, whose playing time has spiked this month, calls this group the “closest team I’ve been on” in his short NBA career, Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly tweets. Noel, a prime trade candidate as our Luke Adams detailed last month, is averaging 11.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 23.3 minutes over the last three games. His comment suggests he might be softening his tone about his role with the club.