Mike Dunleavy Jr.

Warriors Hire Mike Dunleavy Jr. As Scout

Mike Dunleavy Jr. will rejoin the Warriors as a pro scout, the team announced on its website.

Dunleavy played 15 NBA seasons, spending the first four and a half with Golden State. He last played for the Hawks at the end of the 2016/17 season.

The addition of Dunleavy was among several moves the Warriors made, including two promotions on the coaching staff. Bruce Fraser has been named an assistant coach and Chris DeMarco will be assistant coach/director of player development.

The team also hired Nick Kerr, son of head coach Steve Kerr, as assistant video coordinator. He previously held a similar position with the Spurs.

Five Notable Forwards Still Available In Free Agency

While most of the biggest names still available on the free agent market are restricted free agents, there are several noteworthy unrestricted players who are free to sign outright with any NBA team. Over the last several days, we’ve identified a number of those players, examining five notable guards, wings, and big men who remain unsigned.

Today, we’ll close out our look at those notable remaining free agents by focusing on a handful of forwards who could appeal to NBA clubs. Some of these players could be considered wings or bigs, but we’ve split them off into their own category — these are frontcourt players who probably shouldn’t be relied on as the man in the middle of any lineup that’s not unusually small.

The Raptors, Hawks, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Spurs, and Hornets are among the teams that could potentially use a little more frontcourt depth, though those aren’t the only clubs who may be suitors for the players listed below.

Here are five notable free agent forwards to keep an eye on:

  • Dante Cunningham — An eight-year veteran, Cunningham has been a solid rotation player for most of his career, but recently added a new wrinkle to his game. After making just two three-pointers in his first six seasons, Cunningham has made 126 over the last two years, shooting an impressive 39.2% from long range in 2016/17. The apparent lack of interest in the 30-year-old so far suggests teams may be a little skeptical of his newfound range, but if he can keep it up, he’d make for an intriguing stretch four. The Knicks were linked to Cunningham in May and the Jazz were said to have interest last month, though it’s not clear if either team is still in on him.
  • Michael Beasley — While he never lived up to his pre-draft billing, Beasley – a former second overall pick – continued to provide value as a scorer off the bench in Milwaukee last season. In 56 games for the Bucks, the veteran forward averaged 9.4 PPG with a career-best .532 FG% and .419 3PT%. The lack of recent updates on our player page on Beasley suggests that he hasn’t been the subject of any substantial rumors this summer, which is a little surprising. I can think of several teams that could use a player like him in their second unit.
  • Luke Babbitt — Babbitt started 55 games for the Heat last season, but only averaged 15.7 minutes per contest, so his role was limited. Still, few players around the NBA have been more reliable three-point shooters in recent years. Babbitt has made an impressive 43.8% of his long-distance attempts since the start of the 2014/15 season. Miami was reportedly monitoring the former first-round pick earlier in the free agent period, but with Kelly Olynyk now in the mix for the Heat, a reunion may not be cards — Babbitt is said to be weighing other options.
  • Boris Diaw — A longtime contributor in San Antonio, Diaw joined the Jazz last season and saw his production dip — his PPG (4.6), FG% (.446), and 3PT% (.247) marks were all among the worst of his career. Diaw is 35, so we shouldn’t necessarily count on him to bounce back strong in 2017/18, but if he still has something left in the tank, he’s worth a minimum salary investment. Diaw’s ability to distribute the ball is somewhat rare for a forward, and he can fit into a wide range of lineups. The Raptors may be one possibility for him.
  • Mike Dunleavy Jr. — Like Babbitt, Dunleavy could provide immediate help for a team in need of some outside shooting, but like Diaw, his age is a concern; he’ll turn 37 in September. Nonetheless, Dunleavy continued to make threes at a consistent rate in 2016/17, converting 39.6% of his outside attempts despite averaging a career-low 15.9 minutes per game. The Timberwolves were identified as a possible suitor for Dunleavy earlier in the offseason, and even though that report is over a month old, Minnesota still makes sense as a landing spot. Tom Thibodeau‘s club could use another shooter or two, and Thibodeau coached Dunleavy in Chicago.

Note: Restricted free agents aren’t noted here, since they’re not free to sign with any team, but Nikola Mirotic and JaMychal Green are among the noteworthy RFA forwards still on the market.

Hawks Waive Mike Dunleavy Jr.

4:10pm: The Hawks have formally waived Dunleavy Jr., Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets.

12:56pm: Mike Dunleavy Jr. appears likely to hit the free agent market in the coming days, reports Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). According to Vivlamore, indications are that the Hawks will waive Dunleavy before his 2017/18 salary becomes fully guaranteed.

Dunleavy is heading into the final year of his current contract, but his $5,175,000 salary is only partially guaranteed for $1,662,500, per Basketball Insiders. Atlanta would avoid being on the hook for the remaining $3.5MM+ by cutting Dunleavy before it becomes guaranteed on July 1.

Acquired by the Cavaliers in a trade last July, Dunleavy was subsequently flipped to the Hawks in a mid-season deal for Kyle Korver. In 30 games with Atlanta, the veteran swingman continued to show off his sharpshooting ability, making 42.9% of his three-point attempts, though his role with the club was limited.

Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News reported earlier today that Dunleavy is on the Timberwolves’ radar as a possible free agent addition. When a Twitter follower pointed out that the 36-year-old is still under contract, Wolfson replied, “Let’s just say he’s available.”

Free Agent Rumors: Gay, OKC, Wolves, Hawks

Free agent forward Rudy Gay will hold meetings with potential suitors in Austin, Texas this weekend, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). The Thunder have long been rumored to have interest in Gay, and Wojnarowski notes that Oklahoma City continues to view Gay as a potential fit on its roster.

In addition to Gay, Blake Griffin has long been considered a probable 2017 free agent target for the Thunder, and in the wake of Wednesday’s Chris Paul trade, Royce Young of ESPN.com (Twitter link) wonders if OKC likes its chances of landing Griffin any more. The Thunder won’t have the cap space to sign Griffin outright, but could make a sign-and-trade work. Still, as Erik Horne of The Oklahoman writes, Griffin would have to want to play in OKC, and there has been little indication of that so far.

Here are a few more free agent rumors and notes from around the NBA:

  • Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link) identifies Mike Dunleavy Jr. as a potential free agent that will be on the Timberwolves‘ radar, noting that Minnesota needs shooting and Dunleavy has played for Tom Thibodeau before. Dunleavy technically remains under contract with the Hawks, but his 2017/18 salary features only a small partial guarantee, so it’s possible he’ll be waived soon.
  • Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor views Jimmy Butler as the sort of player capable of helping the Wolves attract notable free agents to Minnesota, per Sid Hartman of The Star Tribune. The club is believed to be in the market for a free agent point guard, so Butler’s influence may be put to the test very soon.
  • The Hawks have many players eligible for free agency this weekend, and may explore the market for outside targets, but new general manager Travis Schlenk doesn’t expect the team to rush to get anything done at 12:01am on July 1, as Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution details.
  • After missing the entire 2016/17 season, free agent point guard Mo Williams is working toward a possible NBA return, agent Raymond Brothers tells Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Wojnarowski adds that Brothers is now representing free agent forward Brandon Bass as well.

Mike Dunleavy Diagnosed With Right Ankle Synovitis

Mike Dunleavy has been diagnosed with right ankle synovitis, the Hawks announced in a press release. Per the team’s injury report: “An MRI taken at the Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center on Feb. 28th revealed the injury and a second opinion by Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute also confirmed the diagnosis.”

Dunleavy will be out for an undetermined length of time.

Dunleavy, who initially sought a buyout after being traded to Atlanta, has performed well under Mike Budenholzer. Dunleavy has averaged 5.9 points while shooting 44.2% on 3-pointers with the Hawks, receiving 16.2 MPG.

After tonight, Dunleavy will have missed the Hawks’ last four games.

Rockets Rumors: Dunleavy, Chalmers, Jack, Ibaka

While some players around the NBA are lobbying their respective front offices for roster reinforcements, James Harden told reporters today that he’d be content with the Rockets standing pat at this month’s trade deadline.

“I love what we have, love it,” Harden said, per Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com. “From top to bottom, we have depth. You can throw any guy in there and they know their role, that’s important. I’m going to ride with these guys for sure.”

Harden may be content with Houston’s current 15-man squad, but general manager Daryl Morey is always exploring ways to upgrade his roster, and figures to be busy over the next two weeks. Here’s more from Watkins on avenues the Rockets are exploring:

  • The Rockets engaged in serious talks with Atlanta about acquiring Mike Dunleavy, and while those discussions ultimately didn’t result in an agreement, the team remains on the lookout for another shooter, writes Watkins. K.J. McDaniels would have been part of the deal if the Rockets had worked something out for Dunleavy.
  • The Rockets would like to add another ball-handler to their roster to take some pressure off of Harden and Patrick Beverley. The club has looked at veteran free agents Mario Chalmers and Jarrett Jack to potentially fill that role, per Watkins.
  • According to Watkins, the Rockets have “some interest” in Serge Ibaka, who could provide rim protection, rebounding, and an outside shot, making him a good fit in Houston. The Magic’s asking price for Ibaka is believed to be quite high, however.
  • Given how well the club has played, Rockets officials think it will be tricky to make a deal that improves the roster without disrupting team chemistry, says Watkins. Morey has publicly expressed a similar sentiment.

Stein’s Latest: Rockets, Cavaliers, Blazers, Pistons

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein takes a swing at picking the All-Star starters from each conference and passes along some trade rumors in his latest column. He lists four teams that could be active with the deadline less than six weeks away:

  • The Rockets‘ hopes of acquiring Mike Dunleavy Jr. fell through this week when the Hawks committed to keeping him, but Houston is still looking for another shooter. GM Daryl Morey tried to get involved when Atlanta was searching for a third team in its deal with Cleveland, and he had interest in acquiring Dunleavy when it looked like he might not report to the Hawks. Sources tell Stein that K.J. McDaniels has surpassed Corey Brewer as the Rocket most likely to be traded. McDaniels has one season left on his current deal at more than $3.3MM, while Brewer is signed for one more more season at $7.6MM.
  • The Cavaliers have $4.4MM left from their Anderson Varejao trade exception, which will expire February 20th. That means a trade for a backup point guard may be just as likely as a veteran free agent signing such as Mario ChalmersJarrett Jack or Norris Cole.
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has moved ahead of Reggie Jackson on the list of untouchable Pistons in possible trades. Caldwell-Pope is now atop that list alongside Andre Drummond. Detroit is well below .500 since Jackson returned from tendinitis in his left knee in early December. Jackson, whose 5.5 assists per game are the lowest during his time in Detroit, still has three seasons and more than $51MM left on his current deal.
  • Three Trail Blazers who signed huge offseason deals will become eligible to be traded on Sunday. Keep an eye on whether Portland tries to unload some of the salary it committed to Allen Crabbe, Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard.

Eastern Notes: Dunleavy Jr., Cavs, Monroe, Noel

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.

Hawks Notes: Millsap, Dunleavy, Williams, Wilcox

Paul Millsap is reportedly off the trade block in Atlanta, but with six weeks to go until this year’s trade deadline, several NBA.com writers and reporters remain unconvinced that the team’s decision is final. David Aldridge, Steve Aschburner, Scott Howard-Cooper, and John Schuhmann are among the scribes who believe there’s still a chance Millsap could be moved by February 23, with Howard-Cooper writing that the phrase “taken off the market” will mean nothing if a team calls the Hawks with an offer that Atlanta likes.

I would have agreed with that view of the Millsap situation after a report surfaced suggesting that the Hawks were telling other teams the big man was unavailable. Telling clubs that Millsap isn’t available is a move that could be used as leverage later, in an effort to get those same teams to improve their offers. Still, Atlanta also reportedly informed Millsap himself that he won’t be dealt, and NBA teams don’t often reverse course on that sort of promise in a matter of weeks — I’d be somewhat surprised if the Hawks move Millsap, though it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

Here’s more from out of Atlanta:

  • Mike Dunleavy Jr., who reported to the Hawks and passed his physical earlier this week, expects to make his debut for the team on Friday, tweets Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
  • Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link) spoke to the other veteran acquired in last weekend’s trade by the Hawks, though Mo Williams isn’t expected to report to or play for the club. As Kennedy details, Williams is focused on coaching younger players, and doesn’t seem interested in coming out of retirement as an NBA player anytime soon.
  • In the wake of a report that Wes Wilcox made a “racially charged joke” at a recent season-ticket holder event, the Hawks general manager has received an undisclosed discipline from the team, reports Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.
  • According to Spears, this is what Nzinga Shaw, the Hawks’ diversity and inclusion officer, had to say about Wilcox’s comments: “After hearing multiple sides of the story and getting multiple eyewitness accounts of what took place, I am not convinced that what we heard and read in Deadspin is a direct quote that was used. Wes, however, certainly did make his off-color statement, which included elements of describing his wife’s race. People that were in the room could make the assumption that he was using her race for the reason of the comments that followed. We certainly do not approve of this behavior and we are going to handle this manner internally.”

Mike Dunleavy Reports To Hawks, Passes Physical

3:07pm: Dunleavy has passed his physical, officially completing the deal between the Cavs and Hawks, tweets Vivlamore.

JANUARY 10, 12:45pm: Dunleavy has formally reported to the Hawks to undergo his physical, tweets Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

JANUARY 9, 2:41pm: After a conversation with head coach Mike Budenholzer about his potential role in Atlanta, Mike Dunleavy Jr. has “made peace” with joining his new team, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski, Dunleavy will report to the Hawks on Tuesday.

Dunlevay, who was a part of the trade between the Hawks and Cavaliers that sent Kyle Korver to Cleveland, had been reluctant to report to Atlanta, preferring to negotiate a buyout that would allow him to join a contending team of his choice. On Thursday and Friday, when the Hawks and Cavs were still finalizing the deal, there were reports that Atlanta was seeking a third team to take on Dunleavy, perhaps signaling to the veteran sharpshooter that the Hawks didn’t really want him.

However, after the trade was announced, Budenholzer spoke enthusiastically about the role he envisioned for Dunleavy in Atlanta, and according to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), once the 36-year-old was convinced that Budenholzer and the Hawks wanted him, there was no more talk of a buyout. There is “significant respect” between Dunleavy and Budenholzer, per Wojnarowski.

Although the situation has been resolved for now, there’s no guarantee that Dunleavy will finish out the season in Atlanta. We’re still about a month and a half away from the trade deadline, and if Dunleavy plays well for his new team, it’s possible the Hawks will flip him to another contender. The Warriors and Rockets were among the clubs believed to be keeping an eye on the situation in case Dunleavy hit the open market.

In 23 games for the Cavs this season, Dunleavy averaged career-worst marks in PPG (4.6) and FG% (.400). His current contract will pay him a guaranteed $4.84MM salary this season, with a partial guarantee of $1.66MM on his 2017/18 salary ($5.18MM).