According to a tweet this afternoon from ESPN’s Rockets beat man Calvin Watkins, the team may be interested in disgruntled swingman Mike Dunleavy Jr.
Count the Rockets as another team interested in Mike Dunleavy. A source said Rockets tried to work a trade for Dunleavy a few weeks ago.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) January 9, 2017
Dunleavy, as you may know, was recently traded to the Atlanta Hawks from the Cleveland Cavaliers in a deal for Kyle Korver and was said to be displeased with the surprise development. The 36-year-old veteran was unsure of how he was going to fit in with the Hawks and was instead pushing for a buyout in order to become an unrestricted free agent.
Dunleavy reportedly changed his tune after meeting with Atlanta head coach Mike Budenholzer and will report to the team after all tomorrow morning. That’s not going to stop the Rockets interest in him, however, according to Watkins, as GM Daryl Morey has apparently been hot on Dunleavy’s trail for a few weeks now.
Dunleavy is a career 37.6 percent shooter from behind the three-point line, and it goes without saying that deep shooting skill is a highly valued commodity in the land of Morey. The Rockets are always looking for shooters, and a seasoned and experienced vet like Dunleavy would fit in nicely as the team pushes for playoff seeding in the second half of the NBA season.
Whether or not the Rockets can get the Hawks to bite, though, is another story. Houston would likely look to dump to Corey Brewer and his 21.3 percent three-point shooting in the deal, and I’m not sure that alone is going to force Atlanta’s hand.
Because while we can sit here and imagine what all those missed corner threes by Brewer would look like with Dunleavy taking them instead (drool), the folks in Atlanta’s front office see the same thing. Brewer’s just not that valuable at this stage of his career unless Dunleavy really wants to get out of the ATL and the team just wants to get anything they can for him in return.
Something involving K.J. McDaniels could potentially pique Atlanta’s interest, but do the Rockets really want to move any of their young talent for a season and a half (Dunleavy’s contract runs through next year) of an aging and limited vet? Especially with the team needing some ammo to possibly score a backup point guard before next month’s trading deadline as well?
Also, at least for now, Dunleavy and the Hawks look like they are at least going to give it the old college try.
It appears doubtful if Dunleavy will end up with the Rockets, but interest is there.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) January 9, 2017
So while a trade at the moment appears unlikely, keep this one on your radar as we move into February. All signs point that Morey is definitely interested, and you can bet at the slightest hint that things aren’t going swimmingly in Atlanta and the Hawks are looking to dangle Dunleavy’s shooting prowess, Morey will be back on the phones.