Mike Dunleavy turned down more lucrative free-agent offers last summer to come off the bench, knock down jumpers alongside Derrick Rose and play for a winning team for the first time in his 11-year career.

A potential one out of three isn't bad.

Rose is injured. And now that Luol Deng has been traded, Dunleavy is starting. At 17-18, the Bulls could be headed to the playoffs with Dunleavy, for what would be just his third trip to the postseason.

"This definitely isn't what any of us envisioned at the start of this season," Dunleavy said. "But starting doesn't change my approach. Generally, starting I play a little more. But my body feels good so if that's what it calls for, I'm ready."

Dunleavy is averaging 3.6 points more per game as a starter and shooting .474 as a starter to .448 as a reserve.

"After being here a couple of months, I feel comfortable with what we're trying to do at both ends," he said. "Playing with different guys, I think they have a feel for me now. I just want to be consistent."

Generally speaking: On the Bulls' pregame show, general manager Gar Forman echoed sentiments espoused by executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson about the Deng trade. But Forman, who missed Tuesday's news conference while scouting, intimated the Bulls would re-enter the luxury tax eventually with the $20.6 million they saved from the trade.