Spurs Emerge As Suitor For Butler

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The San Antonio Spurs have emerged as a strong suitor for free agent forward Caron Butler, according to a source.

Butler, the Mavericks’ forward who is coming off a knee injury suffered on New Year’s Day that caused him to miss the rest of last season, is one of the most sought-after small forwards in free agency. He is currently being pursued by the Heat, Bulls, Spurs, Clippers, Nets, Pistons and Bucks, according to the source. The Sacramento Kings were also initially interested in Butler, but have fallen off the hunt in the last couple of days. Butler, who works out in Chicago in the offseason with trainer Tim Grover, is expected to meet with the Bulls sometime in the next few days before making a decision on where he wants to go.

Butler could still re-sign with Dallas, but the Mavericks apparently have concerns about their status as a luxury tax payer going forward. With several other free agents to also decide on, including center Tyson Chandler and guards J.J. Barea and DeShawn Stevenson, the Mavs won’t be able to keep all of them.

San Antonio could be looking for a replacement for veteran Richard Jefferson, who has struggled in his first two seasons there after being acquired in the summer of 2009. Butler would be a perfect fit in the no-nonsense Spurs’ locker room, and with Tim Duncan entering the last year of his contract, and guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili on the backside of their careers, San Antonio is preparing to transition quickly from the post-Duncan era with a new core group including guard Gary Neal, center Tiago Splitter, forward/center DeJuan Blair and rookie forward Kawhi Leonard, acquired in a Draft night trade with Indiana for guard George Hill.

37 Comments

  1. GOSpurs! says:

    This 66 game season suits very well for the Spurs and the Big three that aren´t getting any younger. I expect a bigger contribution of a more mature Splitter, a stronger and less heavy DeJuan and Hill finally making that step forward showing his All Star caliber.
    Injuries free, this could be the season..GO Spurs!

  2. Rands says:

    Spurs should really look for a big guy like Nene or Chandler, someone who can defend the likes of Randolph, Gasol or Nowitzki. Remember these are the guys that dominates the Spurs from the previous season. I even wish they get Dwight.

  3. RG says:

    @Mike: i didn’t even use “could be” that many times, but if you can’t deal with it, so be it. Parker’s still only 29, and despite that Ginobili is 34, he hasn’t show a decline yet. sorry, but i disagree with you for being a rebuilding effort this year, especially in a shortened season. i see one more run. and besides, the rebuilding has already been started (Splitter, Leonard, etc., not to mention the draft rights to Davis Bertans and Ryan Richards).

  4. cedric says:

    All the people that are getting on here sound crazy so they hate on the Spurs.The Spurs did not have to trade for Gasol and then when a title and then they cheated anyway because Jerry West was the GM of the Griz and then the next year he quit so what does that tell you.Laker fans get off of here this is about a real Champ the Spurs.Don’t forget two years after Shaq left Kobe was crying and wanted to be traded because he could not do it by hiself the real MJ did not have that problem.

    • Dynamite Kid says:

      That’s crap. If you want to bring the Jordan argument, one name would completely eradicate your claim “PIPPEN”. And for the “he cannot do it alone”. Sure he couldn’t, NO ONE EVER DID. It took a group of guys, A TEAM I might say. you’ve got balls to talk BS yet all you do is RANT

  5. Daniel says:

    When Richard Jefferson first joined the team i thought the spurs were just going to dominate, but he disappointed everyone hopefully if they get caron butler he wont and with kahwai leonard backing him up im getting excited again. Now we just need a backup point guard and tiago splitter to step it up and were good

  6. Mike says:

    I like Caron Butler and I love the Spurs, but do they really need another small forward? How about a solid back-up for TP? Is Tiago Splitter going to be able to support Duncan like he didn’t last season? I still fail to see the sense in trading George Hill for Kawhi Leonard and the possible acquisition of Butler makes it even more confusing. If it aint broke, don’t fix it. The Spurs are stacked with Small Forwards and they pretty much gave away their only viable back-up for Point Guard. Manu is one of my all-time favourites and he’ll always be awesome, but Tim Duncan is the Spurs’ centre-piece and nobody has proved themselves a substantial fill-in, let alone a credible replacement. Think Power Forwards (with emphasis on Power), think Point Guards. Go Spurs, Go.

    • RG says:

      first of all, Splitter couldn’t support Duncan because he didn’t get that much playing time, and that was because of his injury before the beginning of the 2010-11 season, where he missed all of training camp. don’t blame Splitter for that. i believe he will help this season. second, if you didn’t notice what David Aldridge said, the Spurs could be looking for someone to replace RJ, so that’s why they are looking at SFs. and third, the reason for trading Hill (i didn’t like seeing him go either) for Leonard is because the Spurs need a perimeter defender, and Leonard could become that player because he has those large hands and a wingspan of 7’3″, which made him a pretty good rebounder, something they really need improvement on. and i think Joseph can be a viable back-up for Parker. Hill was a nobody when the Spurs drafted him and look at him now. i’m sure the Spurs still have the thought of getting another big man, especially if McDyess does officially retire.

      • Mike says:

        Too much use of “could be” for my liking. The Spurs’ core is too old for more than one “could be”. This looks, smells and feels like a rebuilding effort, not a typical Spur’s title run.

  7. ed says:

    The Lakers can’t afford him. They are already way over the salary cap. They can’t afford to buy another Title this year.

  8. Frank L says:

    Butler wil go to the Lakers!!!!!!!!! i dont now how or what the benefit wil be ,but if the mavs dont keep him, hi will go with his best bud (Bryant), they have talked about it , so nows as good a time to do it……..

  9. Eric G says:

    Been a huge fan of Timmy and the spurs forever and gaining Caron would really bolster not only the offensive scheme, but more importantly the team’s defensive capabilities. People tend to forget how dominant off an on-ball defender Caron is and the spurs really need somebody that can put in work on both sides of the ball every night. That said I really hope this signing goes down

  10. Michael says:

    I have high hopes for Leonard, looks like a solid defender at SF. Hated to see George Hill go though.

  11. cedric says:

    I’m glad that some body is given the spurs some love.They just need one good big man and a small foward who can defend and shoot the three and they will be back in the finals.Since 1999 they are only one ring shy of the Lakers.This is a short season don’t forget what happen in 1999 don’t hate.

    • bob says:

      One and half rings shy of the Lakers. If they win this year, it’ll be one behind. lol

      Two half-championships = One whole one

      • RG says:

        a season’s a season, whether it’s short or not. sorry. they are still one behind.

      • ed says:

        It counts the same. All teams new the rules and had the same opportunity to win a title that year. Why didn’t your team win it that year? Exactly, they weren’t good enough. All the titles the Lakers have won have been bought or traded for, not via the draft. Shaq was signed as a high priced FA. Kobe was traded for, as was Gasol, Odom, etc. Bought Shampionships.

    • Pete says:

      Yeah.but their last title (and also their last Finals appearance) was in 2007 – back when Parker, Ginobilli and (more importantly) Duncan were all dominant and in their prime. It’s been 4 years since the Spurs played in an NBA Finals game, and their big 3 have all well and truly reached their ceiling – Duncan in particular is only a shell of his once-dominant former self – really more like a great role player now, rather then a star.

      Both the Celtics and Lakers (the other ‘old’ teams) have won titles and made multiple Finals appearances since then, and unlike the Spurs they both have young guys with the potential to be future all-stars (Rondo, Green, Bynum). With all of Boston’s expired contacts, they also have a lot of roster spaces to potentially fill with young talen.

      No question that the Spurs are still a Playoff team and a tough matchup for anyone, but I just don’t see them getting any further then the conference finals without a significant roster shuffle.

      • RG says:

        and yet, even though the Celtics and Lakers might have young guys with potential, the Spurs have already started getting young guys with potential. they may not be future All-Stars, but maybe, just maybe, some of them can be by improving their game (Leonard & Splitter come to mind). the Spurs will have some cap space to work with once Duncan’s contract expires, along with McDyess’s contract (if he doesn’t retire this season, which i think he will), and if they use the amnesty clause on RJ after this season. i’m not saying the Spurs will win this year, even though i still give them a chance to at least compete in a shortened season. i’m just saying they still have a good future ahead.

      • ed says:

        You’re argument is weak. As the Celtics, sign several superstars like Garnett and Allen. The first BIG three with Pierce. The Lakers traded for Gasol, Odom, Fisher. Kobe didn’t win any title without Shaq or Gasol. They bought all those championships. The Spurs Drafted Ginobili, Parker and Duncan. Home grown baby, home grown.

      • Realist1234 says:

        Parker’s not 30 yet. I can see him helming the young team they’re going to be fielding in the next couple of years. Notice that they’re doing a very good job of filling each position with young talent. PG-Parker SG-Neal SF-Leonard PF-Blair C-Splitter. Some of those guys will end up as backups, but it’s pretty obvious that the Spurs have had a post-Duncan plan in place for a while.

      • Hook83 says:

        Hi,

        I’m agree with that – Spurs is a big team for playoff but they need something more to gain championship.
        Two years ago, I hoped for a clash in Orlando, that may convince D Howard to go to San Antonio – today, it’s over, but I’m still thinking they need a big man in the paint, that could allow Timmy moving PF. Spurs big men (execpt Blair) can’t stop physical C’s (Howard, Chandler, M Gasol, Griffin …) and no-one (except growin’ old Duncan) can stop technical C’s and PF’s (like P Gasol or Nowitzki, or even Aldridge).
        Idem for TP backup, without Hill, gone to Indiana Pacers. For Leonard it’s OK, but who behind Gino and Parker ?
        From France, I see the Spurs need a young Big man that could guard the paint safe (look the Gasol, Ibaka duo), and best D from guards behind our national (eh, i’m french too) TP and Gino.
        Happy like all of you to see the end of all this *!§”#@ lock-out !!!

  12. Brian says:

    Spurs need a defensive stopper. Shane Battie wold be a good fit. If the Spurs don’t pick him up OKC may, Imagine the Thunder with a few defences stoppers.

    • Realist1234 says:

      Isn’t Kawhi Leonard that defensive stopper? He’s got all the tools to be a 16ppg guy along with a Bowen type stopper. If the Pacers weren’t overloaded on the wing, I suspect they might have kept him.

  13. yo momma says:

    man, spurs could be a real example to all of the smaller market teams, always making the right moves, chosing the right draft picks, never overpay an overrated player, make the necessary trades. even though they didnt always make it very far, this team made it almost every year to the play-offs and for a small market team thats a big obstacle.

    • Mark C says:

      Richard Jefferson is overPAID. But Spurs do spend wisely

      • yo momma says:

        ok but everyone makes mistakes, my point is that the spurs have very few mistakes and that is the big reason of there success

      • ed says:

        If he played like he’s capable of he would not be considered overpaid. With his level of play the last two years, he would be considered over paid no matter what his salary was. Maybe is that leaving his bride at the alter thing that did him in. Mentally anyways.

  14. lakers says:

    sorry to say this friend but you team is getting oler and older and after last season is really tired .

  15. I am the biggest and most dedicated spurs and NBA fan that is overwhelmed and proud to have basketball back However, I want the spurs to make the best decision for the future, but I don’t want them to forget who they are or those who contributed to the best record of the NBA most of last season. I cannot wait for Chrismas day, and I am confident that the Spurs will continue to suprise and have a positive influence on the NBA, despite all the negative comments about their age and lack of talent. Go spurs GO!

    • brian says:

      We don’t really have a very old team. Duncan, Jefferson, Ginobili, and Bonnet are the only players we have over thirty. We have a lot of young talent but like every other team we could use some more.

    • Gary says:

      Manu & Duncan are two of my favorite players and I like the work ethic of the Spurs as a whole, but let’s face it they are banged up(not old). I’ve seen there have been plenty of NBA greats play good up to 35 years with no issues but I think this team is just starting to feel the wear and tear of all those chamionship runs. Just like LA. They do have some young talent but those guys can’t carry a franchise.