Now that the NBA Draft has come and gone with the newest crop of Duke basketball alumni finding new homes, the rest of the Blue Devils’ considerable NBA fraternity must get to work securing their place in the league for the immediate future. Former standouts J.J. Redick and Mike Dunleavy Jr. are two of the top free agent priorities for teams throughout the league with some pretty serious contenders vying for their services.
Redick and Dunleavy have settled into their shared role of elite jump shooters in their time in the NBA and that shared trait has made them a hot commodity in what is a role-player heavy free agent class. After Chris Paul, now with the Los Angeles Clippers, and Dwight Howard, the star power of this class fades and leaves teams looking to plug holes with players who can help them win now.
One team who is making a strong play for both players in the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 Minneapolis.
Flip’s meetings today with the Wasserman guys — Redick, Dunleavy Jr., maybe Dorell Wright — are scheduled for the Wilshire Hotel. #twolves
— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) July 1, 2013
The Timberwolves were the worst three-point shooting team in the NBA last season and both would instantly make an impact in that department. Redick seems like a stretch for the Wolves, however, as they still have Nikola Pekovic (restricted FA) and Andrei Kirilenko (UFA) to sign and Redick may be too rich for GM David Khan‘s blood, making Dunleavy a cheaper (and taller) option as a bench scorer.
Redick will, in all likelihood, be out of Milwaukee next season though. The Bucks have been dangling Redick as a sign-and-trade option. The newest rumor — as reported by the ESPN Los Angeles’ Ramona Shelburne — has the Clippers flipping Eric Bledsoe to the Bucks in exchange for Redick, setting up one of the most intimidating pick-roll-spot up trios in the league with Paul, Redick and Blake Griffin.
Wherever this pair of Duke alumni land this offseason, the team they land on will happy to have them as the need for perimeter scorers continues to be a priority for NBA teams in free agency.
UPDATE: Mike Dunleavy Jr. has reportedly verbally agreed to a deal with the Chicago Bulls, per ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Mike Dunleavy has gone ahead and verbally committed to sign two-year, $6M deal with Bulls, according to sources with knowledge of the deal
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 2, 2013