When Mike was signed two years ago, his offensive role was simple. Shoot the long-ball, and handle the ball more than Kyle Korver. Over the course of the first year, the long-ball part didn't really happen that much, as DeMarcus Cousins' best friend settled for just 4.5 three-ball attempts per 36 minutes, and even took more two's (6.3 attempts per 36) which really wasn't the point of why he was signed.
This year however, things changed. Surrounded by two of the league's best passing big men, and two of the league's better slashers, Dunleavy finally started shooting more from the outside. His three-point attempt rate went from 41.9% to a much more intriguing 54.7% as he launched 5.2 shots from deep per 36 minutes, and converted on 40.7% compared to 38% the year before. Not only did this improve his efficiency, he finished second on the team behind Jimmy Butler in TS% at .573 and became one of the more reliable scorers on the team, never mind the lack of dimensions.
In some regards, Mike's defense should almost be categorized under "Brought it factor", as the guy tries his damnedest when he's out there. What really happens depends on the match-up, but there is no denying the effort nor the intensity. It's gotten to the point where no one really enjoys going up against him, even if he doesn't have the quickest feet or hands. There are moments, usually late in games, where Dunleavy and his opponent have gone several rounds, and the other guy is just flat-out tired of having Dunleavy up his grill, which sometimes leads to the player giving up the ball. This isn't an unusual outcome for players going up against guys who are giving it all they've got, which was also true in case of Joakim Noah and his early years.
However, effort aside, Dunleavy isn't the prototypical defender. He doesn't have long arms, he doesn't jump out of the gym, he can't keep up with guys who can change direction quickly, nor players who are well-built and who utilize their strength. So there will always be some serious shortcomings on his accord. But let's just give him our participation trop.. oh, shoot. James Harrison took it.
"Brought it factor"
The guy gets under so many people's skin, and that doesn't happen without annoying the living poop out of people, and being slightly dirty on top of that. Dunleavy annoyed Giannis Antetokounmpo to such an extent that the Greek Freak did this, and will miss the first game of the new season:
Highlight of the season
Coincidentally, look above. That's Mike Dunleavy in a nutshell. He's a bit dirty on one end, frustrates his opponent to the point where he is intentionally being fouled, and he still knocks down the jumper.
This seems low, yes. But despite the goodness of what he brought, he still is at a disadvantage against most players, which in turn makes him a weaker link in the grand scheme of things. Now, to be fair, he never asked to start and play that much. But that was nevertheless the role he was in, and compared to other starting small forwards around the league, Mike was a solid chunk behind most of them simply because he isn't on that level anymore, and that feeling was frequently apparent.