Friday, December 9, 2011
Mike Dunleavy Jr. to sign with Bucks
MILWAUKEE -- Free-agent guard Mike Dunleavy Jr. was at the Milwaukee Bucks' practice facility Friday, but had to watch the team's first practice from courtside as he waited to sign his new deal.
The Bucks were waiting for the NBA to approve a pending trade that will send guard Keyon Dooling to the Boston Celtics before signing Dunleavy and their rookies. And with teams around the league seeking approval on contracts and trades in a post-lockout logjam, the Dooling trade still was unofficial when the team hit the court for practice.
"The unsigned players couldn't go, we couldn't sign them until Keyon's trade was official," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "That's all. We waited, we waited, and figured we'd just start practice and maybe at some point they could get going, but it just hasn't gone through yet. So yeah, Mike will be fine tomorrow, he'll be ready to go."
The trade was finalized later Friday, with the Bucks sending Dooling and a protected second-round pick to the Celtics for the rights to forward/center Albert Miralles.
First-round draft pick Tobias Harris, a forward from Tennessee, and second-round pick Jon Leuer, a forward from Wisconsin, also had to watch practice from courtside.
The Bucks also were without their main offseason acquisition for their first post-lockout practice. Skiles said guard Stephen Jackson, who was obtained in a three-way draft day trade, arrived in Milwaukee on Friday morning and his physical examination didn't get done in time for the start of practice.
"Not your typical first day," Skiles said. "But nobody's having a typical first day."
Skiles held a shorter and less intense practice than he typically would on the first day of training camp.
"We had literally between three and five practice plans for today, based on how many guys we were going to have," Skiles said. "And we weren't sure until just a few minutes before, because we were made aware of what was going on with Keyon's trade, and that those guys weren't going to be able to go until that got put in motion. So we basically had nine guys. And tomorrow, we'll have everybody."
Still, Skiles came away impressed with the way his players kept in shape.
That was a concern for every NBA team going into Friday, given that team officials weren't allowed to keep tabs on their players' workout programs during the lockout.
"It was good," Skiles said. "I'm really pleased with the conditioning of the guys. If we would have went through our regular first training camp practice, which is a little more physical and longer, the guys would have gotten through it fine."
Skiles is looking forward to the addition of Dunleavy, who shot 46.2 percent from the floor and 40.2 percent from 3-point range with Indiana last year.
"He's going to be one of the best shooters, if not the best shooter, on our team," Skiles said. "And he can also make plays for other people. He's a good off the ball player, very good off the ball player with his cutting and spacing, and he's got a very high basketball IQ. All things we were trying to address."
Guard Brandon Jennings said getting Dunleavy was a "big deal" for the Bucks, who have dramatically reshaped their backcourt going into this season with the additions of Jackson, Beno Udrih and Shaun Livingston.
"When he was out there in Indiana, he was a big key to their team," Jennings said. "He's going to fit in really good here."
Center Andrew Bogut said Dunleavy's accuracy will add another dimension to the Bucks.
"He's a guy that's got a higher basketball IQ," Bogut said. "He's played for a couple of teams now. He can really shoot the basketball, which is what we need."