Mike Dunleavy calls Butler-Rose rift ‘chatter,’ and says that he and Butler both want to stay Bulls

SHARE Mike Dunleavy calls Butler-Rose rift ‘chatter,’ and says that he and Butler both want to stay Bulls
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Rumors about Jimmy Butler wanting to be elsewhere next season, a reported rift between Butler and Bulls teammate Derrick Rose, Mike Dunleavy’s own pending free agency . . . all just talk, Dunleavy said Monday.

‘‘I think a lot of that stuff as far as Jimmy’s and Derrick’s relationship is just chatter,’’ he said. ‘‘I think there’s chatter as far as free agency in general.’’

Dunleavy, 34, who will be a free agent as of 12 a.m. Wednesday, took it a step further, indicating that he expects to be back with the Bulls, with Butler also staying.

‘‘I’m really optimistic that he and I will both be back,’’ Dunleavy said. ‘‘I’ve talked to him a little over the course of this summer. Obviously, nothing is set in stone, and he’s got to go through the process, but I would be surprised if Jimmy’s in another uniform next year besides the Bulls.’’

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, Butler, who will be a restricted free agent, wants a one-year deal with the Lakers before he could really cash in when the new NBA television deal kicks in after the 2015-16 season. But a Bulls source said Butler has not indicated any such plan to them, and Dunleavy’s reported conversations with Butler seem to back that.

‘‘Quite frankly, I think Jimmy [returning] is a big part of me wanting to come back, too,’’ Dunleavy said. ‘‘I’m willing to be patient with this thing. That would be the case with any team. And with where I’m at in my career, I’m not one of those guys that someone will be ramming down my door at midnight. The Bulls are a priority for me, and we’ll try and figure something out, I’m sure.’’

Dunleavy signed a two-year, $6.5  million deal in the 2013 offseason with the thought he’d be a veteran bench guy. Instead, he became a key starter with the departures of Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer.

‘‘As far as looking in the past, I have no issue with that contract,’’ Dunleavy said. ‘‘That’s what I signed up for. I did my best, and if people feel I outperformed it, then great — that’s what you always want to do. As far as moving forward, obviously I feel like I’m worthy of being paid or compensated more than what that contract represented, so hopefully this time around I’ll be able to get a bump in pay.’’

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