It’s buyout season in the NBA, and Caron Butler is on the verge of getting his from the Milwaukee Bucks. The front-runners to sign the former All-Star are the Miami Heat, but the Oklahoma City Thunder, also making final additions before the playoffs, are also in the running to sign him. The San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls are also in the running.
Butler was always going to be either a trade asset or someone a better team than the Milwaukee Bucks tries to pick up. He averaged 11 points in 24.1 minutes a night for the Bucks, starting in 13 games this season, pushed away more and more from the lineup due to the tanking nature of the team.
Up until the last 24 hours, it seemed like the Heat were the favorites to land a player who began his career there in 2002, and was a teammate of Dwyane Wade during his rookie season. However, the Thunder offer the same temptations to Butler, at least on the basketball court: Playing on a team with at least two players who attract defenders and will make it very easy for him to share the court, making the most of his outside shooting skills, pretty much the only offensive weapon he has to offer besides his basketball IQ.
The Bulls and Spurs, both looking to add players to their playoff runs, are in a spot to try and sign him, but the Heat and Thunder seem like better options of playing for an NBA title. They also have more stars that mean open shots for Butler.
So how does he decide? It comes down to the pitch that’s made for him. Butler needs to play on a team that can also mask his defensive issues, also part of his game after almost 12 years in the league. There’s no clear answer for this, but the Heat are probably more of a fit when it comes to playing in a transition style offense instead of an iso, star-based system that the Thunder stick to. Butler will probably be a good fit in both in a limited role.