After starting his NBA career 11 years ago near the crystal waters of Miami, Caron Butler has made it back home to a place far less inviting. Not because Milwaukee is a death trap but because Miami is the league’s best team at the moment and the Bucks, not so much. But be that as it may, Butler is now a Milwaukee Buck after the Suns sent him eastbound for point guard Ish Smith and big Viacheslav Kravtsov.
A look at the Bucks roster with Butler’s addition doesn’t look particularly bad on paper, or website. But it doesn’t have the championship pedigree of the Heat, the potency of the Pacers, the flexibility of the Bulls, or the upsides of the Cavaliers and Pistons.
But there are bright spots.
With Butler, the Bucks acquire a deeper small forward rotation and an added veteran voice to help mold the surplus of youngsters. At each position, Milwaukee has at least one under-25 player with enticing potential. Though most of them don’t play at the small forward spot. Depending on how the units come together, the team might even be in contention for the eight seed out East with Butler. But in all likelihood, that won’t be the case. Really it might just move them up the power rankings one notch.
It also isn’t determined if Butler will be the starting small forward. Behind him is Carlos Delfino, who arguably had a better 2012-13 season. Butler shot the ball better (42.4, 38.8, and 83.3. to Delfino’s 40.5, 37.5, and 85.7) but pretty much trailed in all other categories. It should be noted that the small forward can still be a solid player at 33, but should probably be a bench weapon at this stage of his career. In any case, there’s plenty of shooting now in Brew Town which would be especially tantalizing if Larry Sanders had any semblance of a post-game. So suffice it to say that the Bucks are picking at straws here.
The real winners might be Phoenix who landed two young players, for a guaranteed $2.5 million, and also got rid of Butler’s due $8 million. That might open things up for them to part ways with Michael Beasley who has been a cancer to the Suns organization.
Overall, the Bucks do get better with Butler’s presence but the difference might end up being pretty negligible. Not everyone can be Miami.