Butler’s Reported Addition To OKC Provides Boost To Durant, Thunder

HANG TIME SOUTHWEST – Caron Butler has sidestepped the King and a three-peat bid to serve the noble cause of delivering Kevin Durant title No. 1.

The veteran forward, bought out by the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, had been speculated to join the Miami Heat, the team that drafted him 10th overall in 2002 and, in ’04, traded him to the Los Angeles Lakers in a package for Shaquille O’Neal. Instead, the 6-foot-7 Butler intends to play for the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder when he clears waivers, multiple news outlets have reported.

Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, who was among the first to report the news, has more:

Caron Butler has chosen to sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder over the Miami Heat, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Butler informed teams of his decision on Friday morning, a league source told Yahoo Sports.

After securing a contract buyout from the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday morning, Butler is expected to clear waivers on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET, and will sign for the rest of the season to play with Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Despite close relationships and history with the Miami Heat, Butler decided that his best opportunity to make an impact and chase a championship belonged with Oklahoma City. Miami has lost out on the top two free-agent buyout players in Danny Granger and Butler.

The fact that Oklahoma City stopped pursuing Granger several days before his Los Angeles Clippers commitment led many in the NBA to believe the Thunder were confident of securing Butler as a free agent.

Butler, who turns 34 on March 13, will be a significant veteran pick-up for the youthful Thunder, who will benefit from Butler’s rugged, perimeter defense in isolated matchups. His addition allows Durant to occasionally lessen his defensive load, and Butler is a capable shooter from mid-range to the 3-point arc.

OKC is light on wings with starting shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha being a defensive-minded player and reserve Jeremy Lamb only his second season and first as an integral part of the Thunder’s rotation.

Butler won a title with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, knocking off James’ Heat in their first Finals as the Big Three, but Butler was inactive for the entire playoffs after suffering a gruesome knee injury on Jan. 1 during a game at Milwaukee. The Mavs, inspired by Butler’s commitment to work his way back, although ultimately he could not, dedicated their postseason run to him.

He signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Clippers for the 2011-12 season and broke his hand early in the playoffs. He manged to continue playing, saying he wasn’t going to allow another injury to take him out of a second consecutive postseason.

After last season’s first-round exit, the Clippers traded Butler to the Phoenix Suns along with guard Eric Bledsoe. The Suns, more interested in a youth movement, moved Butler to the Bucks, allowing him to play close to family and friends in his hometown of Racine, Wisc.

But the Bucks have been awful and agreed to buy him out of the final year of his contract that pays him $8 million. Butler has been nicked up throughout the season and has played in 34 games with 13 starts. He’s averaged 11.0 ppg and 4.6 rpg in 24.1 mpg. He’s shot just 38.7 percent overall, but a healthy 36.1 percent (53-for-147) from beyond the arc.

Butler is no longer the high-minute, All-Star-type small forward he was a few seasons ago. But in spurts off the bench, he can bring the Thunder the toughness and scoring punch they need.

Meanwhile, the West continues to get even more competitive with Butler headed to OKC and former Indiana small forward Danny Granger committed to joining the Clippers after being bought out by the Pacers.

70 Comments

  1. Cel says:

    The thunder should have picked up Danny granger instead of Caron just saying

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Until Granger returns to “All Star form,” I’d rather have Caron Butler. Granger has missed way too much playing time over the past couple years. He’s kind of a gamble right now. But Caron? Appears to be having a subpar season but is still putting up double-figure scoring. On a young team like the Thunder, expect his efficiencies to increase dramatically. Especially with Thabo out with injury. He’s going to have a wonderful opportunity.

      Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Caron and Lamb are from the same University. Good motivator.

  2. GlennP says:

    Miami all set to get 4 more championship rings! Lebron is the man. Watch and learn!..

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Pssstt….. Lebron getting 4 more rings? Yeah, if he shocks the sports world and joins the Thunder this summer. You could, then, double or even TRIPLE 4 NBA Championships.

  3. JM says:

    This is going to make OKC very good. Caron can give the element of toughness and shooting on the wing that can make the youthful Thunder tough and solid.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Plus, the youthful Thunder can make Caron Butler more energetic and ten years younger … just like Derek Fisher. Fisher is playing like he’s in his late 20s.

  4. Hr923 says:

    Finals- okc vs indiana… The pacers took miami to seven games without bynum or evan turner so just imagine whats going to happen this year and take into consideration that wade plays like 5 out of 10 games and is still having issues if he does’nt play “Every” game against indiana they dont stand a chance.. Also please stop mentioning oden 11 minutes per game against hibbert/bynum lol thats a joke right!! OKC ALL DAY!!!

  5. clips its time says:

    clips are going go to the finals because Blake Griffin’s growth along with DJ & people forget that most of are players are vets and the addition of glen & Danny give the clips defense toughness. think about it clips got the best bench , point guard best power forward & people might deny it but he is 3rd in the mvp race and did not let the clippers fall i Paul’s injury,

  6. Mo d says:

    Lakers starting lineup next season
    Rondo pg
    Kobe sg
    Melo sf
    love pf
    Asik c

    Butler sixth man
    Champions for 2014 2015 la lakers

    • Gonz says:

      U must be either very young or very stupid to think that. Lakers are gone, like they’d win another championship with all the talent in the west. wake up!

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      K. Bryant has retired……….
      :-)

  7. okc2014 says:

    Lamb and Jackson are not that good?????? Are you kidding me? Really??? The timing was good for OKC to snag Butler. I think Sefelosha and Perkins are injured for season. Who needs them anyway. I think OKC should waive these guys, buy them out, whatever it takes and get someone spectacular, yes, handpicked by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. OKC2014. They will play Pacers in the Finals and take the win. Kevin Durant MVP and Jackson for 6th Man of the Year.

  8. TheAll-Star136 says:

    It would of been a smart choice if he signs with the Heat. If his team gets eliminated, he should join the Heat next season.

  9. TheAll-Star136 says:

    I hope he changes his mind and then sign with the Heat.

    The Miami Heat is such a smart franchise. The Heat won two straight champions and LeBron is having an amazing season. I don’t think the Thunder would win the champion. The West is just so hard to beat. Butler used to be a Heat and him playing there will be familiar to him. It would of been a nice signing if he was able to join them.

  10. Unkle Daddy says:

    Granger messed up, he should have went to the Spurs or OKC, Clippers don’t have it, whatever the it is in basketball they lack it, even with all the players they have. Butler’s a good pick up for now, but I hope it’s just a season fill in spot and not a long term signing. Durant and Westbrook really need to go on a recruiting tour this off season for some top tear talent. I say sign Gordon Hayward in the offseason.

  11. Gillsy says:

    This is a good move for the Thunder who could use Butler at the 3 either when the Slim Reaper goes to the bench or when they play small ball at the end of games with Serge playing the 5 and Durant the 4.

  12. josh p says:

    Too bad the game doesn’t play by talking .

  13. Jon says:

    You’r all dumb. The reason Caron and Granger did not go to the heat is because Granger knows the Heat are top of line rivals so that was out of the question. Media will ruin him and he already knew what came with that. As far as Caron, you have to remember that when a buy out occurs it is a CONTRACT. Meaning, the bucks probably offered him the amount of money left on his contract but only under some circumstances. No team wants to let a player go to only make another team IN THEIR CONFERENCE better. So, that is why caron was limited to teams out in the west (THUNDER, SPURS, ROCKETS were intorduced as his go to teams). So yeah in a happily ever after world, no doubt in my mind these two would have loved to team up with the star power of LEBRON, WADE, and BOSH in Miami. They just wouldn’t. The Heat have been the best team the past 3 seasons, despite team record they just have too much arsenal. Those guys will beat any team in a series of 7 and I can guarantee they win a 3rd straight with the development of rejuvenated players such as Oden and Beasley. Maybe next year we can see a new dominance in the NBA, but for now people just sit back and enjoy and spectate what I call the best team of this decade so Far. *2010-present

    • DRAGONFORMVP says:

      before Rose got injured that 2010-2011 bulls team is probably better for the sheer depth and price point throughout that team and if kyle korver is your 8th 10th man you have a beast team in every catergory

    • the13thjoker says:

      Thankyou Jon, good to read something here with some intelligence.

  14. Tee says:

    It’s funny how the Heat get doubted every year..time after time….but they still manage to win…only reason Butler dint sign was be cuz of playing time…not because the Pacers are deep…and Miami isn’t playing that well? 9-1 in the month of Feb…If yu haven’t noticed the Pacers have been playing hard all year and only 2 games ahead of the Heat…Heat have been coasting. ..my opinion in the West only two teams I feel worth mentioning is Spurs and Okc simply because they having proven them selves. .. clippers and rockets are maybe teams…

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Blazers currently 3rd best in the West. Keep underestimating Portland, and you’ll pay the price.

  15. lakerslakerslakers says:

    okc screwed up. they should have taken grainger to replace perk. now they’re toast.

  16. Mamerto says:

    OKC, Clippers, Indiana, continue to do the investment , anyway you are fighting for a second place, Miami is the law

  17. LA CLIPPERS LOL sadly wont make it past semi finals HAHAHAHAHAHAH

  18. sirsparhawk says:

    Well lets see how this ends up and go from there. I dislike Thabo so this will be a good addition.

  19. thunder says:

    thunder all day all day westbrook kd serge ibake and now caron butler people clippers ant nothing the only people that mieght beat us are the spurs

  20. thunder says:

    thunder all day you guys think the clippers will beat the thunder no way

  21. KING HEAT says:

    the teams i think that are gonna reach the finals are the heat,spurs again,okc,indiana,or clips but ima Heat fan so yea i would mostly vote for them

  22. NZBBALL says:

    OKC Pacers Final

  23. Brian says:

    So many people forget about the Pacers. The reason Bulter and Granger didnt sign with the Heat, is because they know the Heat aren’t getting out of the Eastern Conference this year.
    Pacers are DEEEEEPPP, and with the addition of Evan Turner and Bynum, Indiana has the best overall TEAM, and the best record to prove it.

    Finals will be INDIANA vs OKC
    Indiana winning it all.

    • basketball fan says:

      How could their know Heat will not reach the final ? They are tha man came from the future and knew OKC and Pacers will compete each other in the NBA final? What about spurs OR clippers ?

    • Mr.MikeLove says:

      Playoffs are nothing like regular season.
      I watch every single game the Heat play, and they’ve lost quite a few by a small margin.

      Not to mention the games Wade sits out they lose a part of what makes this team so great.
      Don’t expect Wade to sit out playoff games.

      Main point, a healthy Miami team is gonna take down a healthy Indiana team.
      As for the finals, probably Heat – Spurs. I like OKC but don’t see it happening for them.

    • David West says:

      Lol, yeah. Just like the last two years when Miami beat Indiana in the playoffs. If Miami’s 3-ball is falling, they’re tough to beat regardless of how deep the Pacers’ bench is. Everyone’s relying on Bynum when he hasn’t done a thing in nearly 3 years.

  24. kenny says:

    totally agree the finals match up will be Pacers Thunder who knows who will win

  25. ImJusSayin says:

    UHHH,
    Didn’t LAC just do a lil better in their pick up? And the story is Butler?

  26. silencio says:

    SEMIFINALS= MIAMI VS PACERS, CLIPPERS VS ROCKETS. FINALS= MIAMI VS CLIPPERS. TROPHY=MIAMI (again)

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Sorry to break this to Clipper fans, but if Lob City didn’t work in the playoffs last season, what makes you think it will this season? Plus, they keep messing up their roster by adding jabroni after jabroni — guys past their primes or playing poorly. There’s a reason Indiana opted for Turner instead. Granger has had a subpar season. The Clippers STILL want Granger? Laughable. I hope they do add Granger, though. Makes it easier for the West.

  27. loggie says:

    hey even though the free agents didn’t sign with the Heat, it just puts more fuel on the fire to burn them if they meet the Heat, because the Heat will be in the championship finals. See ya”ll at the parade:)

  28. Davina says:

    Sorry Heat lovers but Heats aint going to the finals this year . Heat is out of Heat lol .. there not playing that great! anyways . Thunder all the way!!

    • Angelo says:

      There not playing great evento though they are 9-1 in febuary and Lebron and Wade are in a rythm. Lebron averaging 28-8-7 and Wade being Healty and Bosh making shots lately they aré playing amazing and they have a 6 gane winning streak

  29. Carlo says:

    Granger is traded to the sixers and the sixers bought his contract out.

  30. Joe says:

    Every addition to any team is just cute and meaningless unless you’re adding LeBron, Wade, and Bosh. Those three guys could start for the Olympic team. No other team can boast that. You think your team acquired a big pick-up? Who cares- you don’t have LeBron, Wade, and Bosh who all teamed up with eachother for a voluntary super team. Adding Butler sounds cute.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      The problem is Bosh and Wade are putting up subpar numbers, overall. These guys used to be 20+ PPG guys and whatnot. Now what are they? They’re inconsistent. Put together a few good games and then some bad ones.

      Afraid to break this news to you, Joe, but last season was the Heat’s last hurrah. They can’t make it back to the Finals with their current roster. But that’s just my opinion.

      But if you look at some of the stats, Wade and Bosh wouldn’t start for the Olympic team. When they were in their primes, yes. But present day? NO WAY.

  31. Cash Robertson says:

    OKC will go to championship n they will win it! I don’t care who the Heat n Clippers pick up Durant is on a mission n won’t be denied!

  32. djMamba says:

    lmao clearly this person didn’t do a spell check, “he manged to continue playing, saying…. ” lol but I’m glad butler and granger rejected miami haha

  33. Left Hand Hook Shot says:

    Caron Butler can get hot, but he’s too old to be much help. OKC need to look to their core group to make a playoff run. It is nice insurance for them to have in case of more injuries though. Good pickup, but don’t expect much. I’d rather have Lamb on the floor….

    • Mr.MikeLove says:

      If OKC had the money to have kept James Harden they probably would have had a title already.

      Guess Butler for bench scoring will be nice, seeming as OKC doesn’t really have a guy coming off the bench
      who can score well. Lamb and Jackson do what they can but… They’re just not that good (yet, maybe).

      Off topic but like everyone, laughable how I see LAC being mentioned as a contender.
      Western contenders are OKC and Spurs. Eastern Contenders Heat and Pacers.

      Think any other team beside those 4 will have to prove during the playoffs that
      they’re worthy of being called a contender. Think GSW or Rockets might do so.
      LAC? Maybe next year, sorry.

  34. Ced says:

    I don’t understand why these two guys did not go to the Spurs. History would tell me to go to a team that has won a ring. Both of those guys are going to be mad at the end of the year. Heat or Spurs are going to win it all or maybe the Pacers. Go Spurs Go !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Spurs go get world peace

    • SG says:

      Granger+LA=more playing time.
      Butler+OKC=Ring

      I agree though, it would have been a better investment for Granger to sign with SA. He could have started with Ginobli coming off the bench and the streaky Green being used as a 3rd option off the bench

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      I seriously doubt the Spurs really want World Peace. They’d be better off re-signing Shannon Brown. If the Spurs do sign World Peace and give him significant playing time, that bodes well for the top teams of the West. All Peace did was help drag down the Knicks. Spurs probably don’t want damaged goods.

  35. kellogs says:

    da hell is LAC able to get so many quality players??

  36. ludwing says:

    @abdullah he didnt sign with the heat because the heat have their players already the rotation is set its a 9 man to 10 man rotation he wont be getting to much play time im happy hes going somewhere he can play wish he wouldve came back to miami but he wants to contend and play okc gives him both especially play time

  37. standard says:

    butlet thought he would have more minutes in OKC
    than with the heat

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      I agree. Conversely, if Granger joins the Clippers, he won’t get much playing time. He’ll probably get lost in the shuffle with Hedo Turkgolu (however you spell it), now-departed Stephen Jackson, Matt Barnes, and Glen Davis. And Sasha Vujecic. Clippers are discombobulated. When those outside shots don’t fall as much, they’re going to struggle against playoff teams.

  38. Javier says:

    Where is the Dunk over LJ in the top plays of yesterday?? and the BLOCK?? jajaja They take care to his image

    It stinks

  39. abdullah says:

    Bad decision by Butler. When the HEAT beat OKC in the finals, he will be regretting it…

    • ludwing says:

      @abdullah he didnt sign with the heat because the heat have their players already the rotation is set its a 9 man to 10 man rotation he wont be getting to much play time im happy hes going somewhere he can play wish he wouldve came back to miami but he wants to contend and play okc gives him both especially play time

    • Tom says:

      OKC will not reach to finals. Finals will be between Heat and Clippers!

    • defdun says:

      sorry my friend, but the Heat will not even be in the Finals this year…it Pacer time and they’ve got what it takes to get by the LBJ train this year!

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Smart decision. Caron Butler is going to drink from the Thunder Fountain of Youth just like Derek Fisher.

      Miami is still an elite team, but they’re considerably older than the Thunder.

      Plus, he might actually get more playing time with the Thunder. I heard Sefolosha may miss a few weeks due to a leg injury. Thunder could have Butler start at SG as soon as possible. They started Perry Jones at SG against Charlotte. So I would expect them to experiment with Butler in the starting lineup over the next few weeks. He’s still a double-figure scorer. Perfect fit.

      Plus, with Indiana’s addition of Evan Turner, expect them to be in the Finals this season against the Thunder.