Chicago Bulls veteran forward Mike Dunleavy is out eight-to-10 weeks after undergoing lower back surgery, the team announced Friday.
Dunleavy, 35, experienced some back discomfort earlier this summer, and things recently worsened. “Conservative measures” were taken in an attempt to fix the problem, but when that didn’t work, the decision was made to perform the surgery.
Dunleavy went back to the Bulls on a three-year, $14.4 million deal this summer after two solid seasons with the team. He averaged 9.4 points and 3.9 rebounds while shooting 43.5 percent overall and 40.7 percent from three last regular season, and Chicago struggled when he was out of the lineup with an ankle injury.
Dunleavy performed even better in the postseason, averaging 10.9 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 48.9 percent overall and a scorching hot 48.2 percent from deep in over 32 minutes per game.
With Dunleavy out for an extended period of time, youngsters Tony Snell and Doug McDermott will get a big opportunity. Snell seems like the more likely candidate to start considering he’s more proven, but McDermott will get his fair share of minutes as well, and we can’t rule out the second-year man getting the nod in the starting lineup.