With the architect of the Golden State Warriors‘ dynasty — longtime GM and team president Bob Myers — set to walk away upon the expiration of his contract on June 30, fans, pundits and players alike had been left to wonder who would be tasked with leading the club moving forward.
Now, they have their answer.
Per an announcement from the team on Friday, the Warriors have officially tapped VP of basketball operations and former player Mike Dunleavy Jr. as the next top decision-maker in their front office, promoting the 42-year-old to the GM position.
“We think Mike is the perfect fit to lead our basketball operations department,” Warriors owner Joe Lacob said in the release. “He has a wealth of basketball knowledge, stemming from his family upbringing, a 15-year NBA playing career and five seasons serving under Bob Myers in our front office.
“He’s young and energetic, has established numerous relationships around the league and communicates well with players and coaches — all important traits in this business. Mike’s ready for this challenge and responsibility.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report on Dunleavy’s promotion.
Warriors Err on the Side of Continuity After Tough Campaign
Entering the 2022-23 season as the defending NBA champions, the Warriors were expected to be a major factor in the title hunt once again. However, they were put behind the eight-ball in training camp by the altercation between Draymond Green and Jordan Poole.
From there, injuries, road woes and the failure of young guns James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody to earn featured roles contributed to a downturn that ultimately saw the club eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Los Angeles Lakers.
So, keeping a familiar voice in the GM spot may have been the best possible move for Lacob and Co. where mitigating the loss of Myers and those key skills was concerned. Especially when one considers the team’s desire to stay in the competitive mix with Steph Curry and his dynastic cohorts.
And, from a sheer basketball standpoint, Dunleavy’s resume is arguably as strong as anyone’s.
A Basketball Lifer
Dunleavy Jr. has spent five years in the Warriors’ front office so far, having originally joined the team as a pro scout for the 2018-19 campaign. He was promoted to assistant GM less than a year later and, after two years in that role, he became the VP of basketball ops in 2021.
This followed a playing career that saw him appear in 986 regular season games with the Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks before he decided to hang up the high-tops in 2017.
Over that span, he averaged 11.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game and shot 37.7% from three-point range. Meanwhile, his 1,304 triples currently rank as the 65th most in Association history.
After a three-year run at Duke — during which he became an NCAA champion and a consensus second-team All-American — Dunleavy was selected third overall by the Warriors in the 2002 NBA Draft.
Dunleavy’s father, Mike Dunleavy Sr., played in the league for 11 seasons and spent another 17 seasons as a head coach with the Lakers, Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers. The elder Dunleavy also served as an executive.