The Los Angeles Clippers on Friday announced the signing of free agent forward Caron Butler to a contract. The deal is worth a reported $24 million over three years, per Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
“Caron completes what we believe to be a playoff caliber starting lineup,” said Clippers’ Vice President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey in a statement.
“His professionalism, leadership abilities and basketball skills are an excellent addition to our existing roster composition and another step in building the culture necessary to create a model of sustainable success.”
Butler averaged 15.0 points and 4.1 rebounds last season for the Dallas Mavericks but after starting the first 29 games of the regular season Butler ruptured his right patellar tendon and missed the remainder of the season. Butler, 31, has averaged 16.6 points per game during his nine-year career. The Clippers are Butler’s fifth NBA team.
He is expected to start at small forward, joining a front court that includes reigning rookie of the year Blake Griffin and centers Chris Kaman and possibly DeAndre Jordan, who is a restricted free agent.
Chris Paul Also Rumored To Sign:
The NBA Hot Stove has been blowing up all day on Saturday, particularly as it pertains to superstar Chris Paul.
After NBA commissioner nixed a three-team trade involving the Los Angeles Lakers, the Houston Rockets and the New Orleans Hornets that would have brought Paul to the Lakers, the teams submitted a new proposal focusing on younger talent moving towards the Hornets with an eye to building the team for the future.
Late on Saturday night, the Lakers pulled out of the deal, effectively killing the entire trade. Neither the Lakers nor the Rockets had the talent available to pull off an individual trade that would be to the liking of the Hornets. Following that announcement came reports that Lamar Odom would be heading from the Lakers to the Dallas Mavericks, indicating that the Lakers are likely targeting Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic.
In the wake of this non-trade catastrophe is the question of where the Hornets might send Chris Paul. The latest word is that the Los Angeles Clippers appear to be the front-runners for Paul, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports. The Clippers previously discussed dealing for Paul, but those talks broke down when the Clips refused to include Eric Gordon in the deal. Now that the Lakers have fallen out of the picture, the Clippers may present the most attractive option for the Hornets, despite Paul’s statements that he would not sign a long-term extension with the Clippers if dealt there.
David Aldridge of NBA.com reports that the Clippers higher-ups will meet on Sunday to discuss what will happen next. He speculates that the Clippers may be willing to move Gordon now that Paul has hit the market once again.
The developments and rumors are flying fast and furious, so stay tuned for more details on this one.