Now that the NBA season is over, we’re going to look at multiple NBA free agents that could potentially land with the Washington Wizards this summer. The Wizards were good enough to make it to the NBA Playoffs, eventually getting bounced out of the semi-finals, but there’s no doubt that they must fill some holes in their roster and free agency is an option to do that. (Previous free agent targets: Patty Mills, J.Farmar, D. Blair, J. Hill)
Free Agent: Caron Butler
Salary: $1 million (via ShamSports)
Basic Stats: 10.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.5 APG, .39 3P%, .39 FG%
After successfully putting together a good mix of young and veteran talent this season, the Washington Wizards will likely continue to pursue other veteran players for next season. Although acquiring players like Al Harrington and even Eric Maynor didn’t really help the Wizards much on the court, they did receive praise for helping the team in the locker room by providing veteran leadership. Harrington failed to stay healthy this season and I wouldn’t expect him to be back next year, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the roster spot isn’t filled by another veteran player that might be able to help more on the court.
So, that’s where Caron Butler could come in.
Butler obviously isn’t the same All-star player he was in Washington, but he still might have a few years left in the tank. The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Caron Butler after he was waived by the Milwaukee Bucks with the hope of him providing some scoring relief for the team. The Thunder were ultimately eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, which has left Caron Butler with a somewhat uncertain future.
Possibility of Butler signing with the Wizards:
Caron Butler shot over 44% from three in 22 games with the Thunder, but I wouldn’t expect him to provide scoring at an efficient rate at this point in his career. Basically, whichever team signs Butler this summer won’t get much more than a good locker room presence and occasional scoring similar to that of Harrington.
Harrington, Chris Singleton and Garrett Temple are all free agents who didn’t play very often for the Wizards this season, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re not retained. Caron Butler would essentially be a replacement for Harrington and he will likely be available for the veterans minimum. Marcin Gortat recently tweeted that he’d like the Wizards to sign Caron Butler, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Wizards do express interest just because it could add some depth to their roster.
Butler is capable of playing both shooting guard and small forward, but he could also play the four spot in small ball lineups. He has shot the ball pretty well from deep, but much like Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza, his shooting percentages would likely increase if he shares the court with John Wall or even Andre Miller.
The AARP unit may not be the same next season and I think Butler would be a decent replacement for someone like Al Harrington. After all, it would be pretty cool to see Caron Butler sporting the Wizards uniform again.