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Bulls Butler appears headed to restricted free agency with extension unlikely


CHICAGO — Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler is headed toward restricted free agency next summer.

Butler was still hoping before Friday's game against Cleveland that he and the team could agree on a contract extension before Friday's deadline, saying "we got 'til, what, 11:59 (Eastern time)?"

That deadline passed without an extension. Instead, the Bulls will have the right to match any offer he receives next summer.

Drafted with the 30th pick in 2011, the Marquette product has averaged 8.9 points. He broke out last season, scoring a career-high 13.1 points per game while making the NBA's all-defensive second team.

He missed the season-opening win at New York on Wednesday because of a sprained left thumb and was inactive for Friday's game against Cleveland.

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