5 greatest Washington Wizards small forwards of all-time

Caron Butler of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Caron Butler of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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No. 3 Caron Butler

When the Wizards signed Caron Butler to a five-year, $46 million deal in 2005, they had a game plan in play. With Larry Hughes now with the Cleveland Cavaliers, they needed a third player to plug into the scoring duo of Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison.

And Butler was the answer.

In his first year with the Wizards, he logged in 17 points, six rebounds, two assists, and one steal per game. On the last day to the season, he recorded 33 points and 12 rebounds in a victory against the Detroit Pistons.

Butler showed he can pull his weight in the postseason, too. During the 2006 playoffs, he averaged 18 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. Although they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round, he put together some great games. In Game 6, he grabbed a playoff career-high 20 rebounds. After his elite performance in the playoffs, he was given the nickname “Tough Juice” by head coach Eddie Jordan.

He continued to push the envelope the subsequent season.

During the 2006-07 campaign, Butler averaged 19 points, a career-high seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals. In the first 41 games of the season, he logged in double-figure points, highlighted by a 34-point performance against the Phoenix Suns. He had another great stretch between Jan. 15-21 when he averaged 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals. This particular one was highlighted by his first game-winner. On Jan. 17, he slammed in a clutch dunk against the New York Knicks for a 99-98 victory. Ultimately, he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

When the playoffs arrived, he was unavailable due to a broken hand which forced him to sit out the rest of the season.

The 2007-08 season was arguably Butler’s best season. He logged in a career-high 20 points per game, along with six rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

It was also the season when he improved his all-around game. He recorded all three of his career triple-doubles this year but his most notable one was near the end of the season. On Mar. 30, he had 17 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists during a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. During a Jan. 27 matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks, he scored a career-high 40 points to go along with eight rebounds, two assists and five steals.

Butler continued to stay productive in the postseason. During the 2008 playoffs, he averaged 18 points, five rebounds, three assists and one steal. Just like the last two postseason appearances, though, the Wizards fell to the Cavaliers in the first round. Still, Butler put on an amazing performance in Game 5 as he turned in 32 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

The 2008-09 season was Butler’s last full one as a Wizard.

Averaging 20 points, six rebounds, four assists and one steal, he had a few highlight outings. On Dec. 2, he logged in 22 points and 10 assists during a victory against the Nets. Near the end of the season, he fit in a few more huge scoring games. On Mar. 29 and Apr. 1, he scored 31 points each while logging in 39 on Apr. 15 against the Celtics.

After playing 47 games and averaging just 16 points with the Wizards the following season, Butler was traded to the Mavericks. Still, his tenure in the Nation’s Capital was one for the books.