UPDATE: ESPN has reported that Caron Butler has officially signed a two year with the Pistons in the range of 10 million dollars. Detroit News beat reporter Vincent Goodwill has the details.
Can confirm cia sources the Pistons have agreed to terms with Caron Butler and Dj Augustin… Butler is a one-yr w/team option for yr 2
— Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) July 14, 2014
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Pistons are targeting in on Oklahoma City small forward Caron Butler.
Hearing Detroit on the brink of signing Caron Butler after Butler's postseason run with Oklahoma City.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 14, 2014
Butler, who has spent time in Milwaukee, Los Angeles, and Miami, was drafted and traded by Stan Van Gundy when he was a part of the Heat organization. Miami sent him to Los Angeles in 2004 as part of the infamous Shaq deal. The 12 year vet was traded mid-season by the Bucks to the Thunder, to add some depth behind Kevin Durant and to possibly win a championship. He averaged 15 points per game between the two teams and shot 40% from the field.
After leaving a unfitting situation in Milwaukee, Butler improved his numbers off the bench for the Thunder. In 22 games, he shot 44% from beyond the arc.
According to USA Today’s Sam Amick, the top suitors for Butler’s services were the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.
Yet Butler chose the Pistons — which makes you believe that he’ll receive a bigger contract than expected and/or promise playing time, if this report is true.
The best years in Caron Butler’s career came in Washington, where he averaged 19 points per game over five seasons with the Bullets. Once known as a slasher at small forward, Butler has become more dependant on his three point shot the last few seasons.
In Washington’s system, Butler only shot two three pointers per game. Last season with the Thunder, he attempted nearly five shots per game from beyond the arc.
One of main commonalities in the players the Pistons have inquired about at small forward through the free agency process, is that they can play defense. The only times Caron Butler has had a better defnsive rating in his career was his first two seasons in the league with the Miami Heat.
He would provide perimeter defense to a Detroit team that completely lacked it last season. The Pistons finished 27th or lower in opponent field goal percentage from any distance. They also finished 30th from 15 to 19 feet.
Depending on what the terms of a potential contract would be, Butler could be a great addition to the Pistons. He could also serve as a nice asset at the trade deadline, if Detroit doesn’t make a run into the playoffs this season.