Milwaukee has officially requested waivers on Caron Butler after agreeing to terms on a contract buyout.
“It’s been a dream come true to wear the Milwaukee uniform which so many of my idols growing up wore,” Butler said in a team release. “I’d like to thank Sen. Herb Kohl, John Hammond and Larry Drew for the opportunity to live out my dream of playing for the Bucks. The entire organization has treated me and my family in a first-class manner that we will never forget. I would be remiss if I didn’t also thank the great fans of Milwaukee, Racine and the entire state of Wisconsin for always standing with us during a challenging season. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”
So ends the veteran forward's brief stay in his home state, which unfortunately coincided with the worst season in franchise history. Butler has expressed an interest in circling back to Milwaukee when his playing days are done, whether as a budding executive or member of a potential ownership group. For now, though, he'll look to tackle unfinished business; Butler has never contributed to a championship team, as his deepest playoff run came in street clothes with the Mavs in 2011. This buyout will likely give Butler an opportunity to chase another title, and Yahoo!'s report indicates that the Thunder and Heat are the early favorites to secure his services.
He could work out nicely in either spot, as Butler's basketball success at this point depends on role limitation. So long as a team is in position to use him as a complementary player -- one to park in the corner, make counter drives, and fill reserve minutes -- Butler can be a nice fit. It's when he's called upon to do anything more that Butler's limitations become an issue, as the former All-Star no longer has the ability to create any shot consistently save a step-back mid-range jumper. Butler just doesn't have much use at all as a primary (or even secondary) offensive piece, though his solid three-point shooting over the past four seasons and ability to put the ball on the floor when neglected make his game prime for rotation filler.
For Miami, Butler could be a headier alternative to Michael Beasley and insurance for those nights when Shane Battier's jumper is especially sour. For Oklahoma City, he could help nudge Derek Fisher into an even slighter role and match up against bigger, stronger wings. Butler wouldn't be utilized in a way that would create a significant impact, but the most likely landing spots also aren't in need of transformation. Both teams could use a steady contributor to fill limited minutes, and despite dwindling effectiveness, Butler is still fully capable of meeting that standard.