Caron Butler turns 34 during the upcoming season and is coming off a campaign where he averaged the fewest points (10.4) since 2003-04. That doesn't mean the ex-Wizard isn't still desired by playoff-thinking teams. According to reports, the ex-Wizard is about to be traded for the second time this offseason, though at least the latest swap lands the Wisconsin native in a desirable location.
The Suns have agreed to send Butler to the Milwaukee for point guard Ish Smith and center Slava Kravtsov, the Arizona Republic reports.
Even though the Bucks have undergone a significant roster overhaul following last season's playoff appearance, they remain in the 2013-14 chase, at least on paper. Adding a veteran small forward like Butler, who knocked down 39 percent of his point attempts with the Clippers this past season, helps the cause. It also helps offset the expected early-season absence of small forward Carlos Delfino due to foot surgery. Also not hurting Milwaukee' big financial picture is Butler contract, which pay him $8 million but expires after the upcoming season.
Butler went from the Clippers to the Suns this summer along with Eric Bledsoe in a trade that landed J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley with the Clippers. Though he largely talked a good game about landing with Phoenix, Butler preference was to join a team with actual postseason chances.
Milwaukee made the playoffs last season with the combustible backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis plus the mid-season acquisition of Redick. All three are elsewhere along with interim coach Jim Boylan, replaced by O.J. Mayo, Brandon Knight, Gary Neal, Luke Ridnour - and former Hawks coach Larry Drew. Shot blocker Larry Sanders returns with a brand new contract extension along with stretch-four Ersan Illyasova and intriguing forward John Henson.
It shouldn't stun anyone if the Bucks turn these pieces, including their newest one, into a squad that sneaks back into the playoffs as an eighth seed. With so much turnover and without an overt superstar, it also shouldn't surprise if Milwaukee misses the mark. For now assume the Bucks are in the chase for those final three postseason berths with the Wizards, Hawks, Pistons, Cavaliers, Raptors and Celtics.
If adding Smith and Kravtsov doesn't sound like an impressive haul for Phoenix, that's because it's not. What the rebuilding Suns gain out of the deal is financial savings of $5.65 million. According to the report, Phoenix can save that money "to make an expected costly waiver of Michael Beasley more palatable." Beasley, who was arrested earlier this month for possession of marijuana, is owed$9 million of guaranteed salary.
*Speaking of Butler, CBSsports looks at how management put the Wizards into playoff contention, yet at the same time wonders if any true conclusions can be drawn considering past results. Those past results including the mixed bag from Butler's era in Washington, plus the knucklehead years.