Mike Dunleavy Jr. is the final holdover from an era that most Pacers fans would like to forget. The only reason he ever came to Indiana was because he was one of the few players (in combination with Troy Murphy) who was so overpaid that a team would take on the at-the-time toxic deal/persona of Stephen Jackson. Now, poetically, Dunleavy Part II will join Cpt. Jack in Milwaukee to play together for the Bucks.
As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski …
Free agent forward Mike Dunleavy will sign a two year, $7.5 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, league source tells Y! Sports.
Despite the fact that MDJ was acquired in an our-trash-for-yours deal, he turned out to be a surprisingly effective, for a time, in Indiana, logging a career year in 2007-08. In my eyes, he was the the best player on the team that year. Danny Granger had not quite broken out completely (that would occur the following season) and Jr. put up 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per night while shooting 47.8% from the floor and 42.4% from behind the arc (even while shooting 4.7 of them a game). More than that, he was the key facilitator on a team lacking ball-handlers. Granger, who still rarely creates his own shot even today, did so even less back then, instead relying on catch-and-shoot jumpers that were very often the result of ball movement initiated by Mike.
After that year, the wheels fell off somewhat. He only played 18 games the next season and was just off physically during the following one. Last year, he seemed healthy again for the first time since his career season, but he was mainly an outsider looking in on a team that no longer had him in its long-term plans. He got some run, but he was merely a part-time starter holding down the position by default until a rookie was seasoned to replace him. Still, he was a pro’s pro throughout.
Best of luck in beer town. I think you’ll fit in fine up there.