The Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets are hoping things don’t work out between Mike Dunleavy and his new team, the Atlanta Hawks.
Dunleavy was traded to the Hawks as part of the Kyle Korver deal, sending the sharpshooter to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Dunleavy played 23 games this season for the Cavs, averaging 4.6 points in 15.9 minutes a night. He didn’t mind having a small role on a championship team, but then finding himself on the in-limbo Hawks and maybe passed along even further, perhaps to a team without any playoff hopes, didn’t sit right with the 36-year old, into his 15th NBA season.
So Dunleavy announced he won’t report to the Hawks and would seek a buyout with the team. With blood in the water, the sharks immediately began circling. Dunleavy might not be able to give a whole lot, but as a 14th or 15th player who knock down open 3’s, bring something from his experience and provide some vision and passing ability from the ‘3’ or ‘4’ position for 10-15 minutes on some games, he’s a pretty solid addition to have.
Right now, though, the threats of not reporting, getting traded and buyouts are off the table. Dunleavy isn’t just signed until the end of this season. He has $1.6 million of his $5.1 million 2017-2018 salary guaranteed through July 1, 2017. The other $3.5 million depend on whether or not someone thinks he’s worth keeping for another season which could be his last in the NBA. Who knows, maybe his finale is right now, an Dunleavy doesn’t want to waste it on a team not likely to go deep in the playoffs.
Dunleavy reporting doesn’t mean he’ll finish the season with the Hawks. They could still trade him, and the buyout option is always on the table. And it’s not quite clear if he ended his short strike because he was afraid of getting fined, or actually convinced by Mike Budenholzer that he’ll have a big role to play for the remainder of the season. It doesn’t matter. For now, he’s not hitting the waiver wire like the Warriors, Rockets and other teams are hoping he would.