Caron Butler

Caron Butler says nobody from Clippers called to tell him he was traded

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It’s a common courtesy in the NBA — guys who are about to be traded hear about it from their agents and others around the league, but when the hammer drops the GM or coach or someone from the team calls with the formal notification. “Thank you for your service ” and all that jazz anyone who has been fired knows too well.

Caron Butler learned the Clippers traded him to Phoenix through the crawl on the bottom of the television. Butler and Eric Bledsoe went to Phoenix and Jared Dudley went west to Los Angeles.

As you might imagine, for a veteran and professional like Butler perceived lack of respect didn’t sit well. He said as much to Jeff Caplan of NBA.com.

“I don’t leave with bitterness or anything, but a phone call would have helped the situation,” said Butler… “But it’s cool, it’s no hard feelings because that’s the nature of the business.”

There was a time not all that long ago where we just would have said “that’s the Clippers for you.” But the fact is their basketball operations have gotten a lot better in recent years — not just drafting Blake Griffin or trading for Chris Paul, but in terms of the professionalism with which the organization is run and perceived. This was a misstep that felt too much like the bad old days.

Caron Butler is the highest paid Phoenix Sun player this season at $8 million, and he also has the veteran presence to be a leader. He can work with fellow former Clipper Eric Bledsoe and the Morris twins. He can guide some guys.

Well, at least until the rebuilding Suns trade him. But I bet they at least call with the news themselves.

WATCH: LeBron James, Stephen Curry lead NBA’s top 100 plays of 2015-16 season

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The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.

No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.

No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.

There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.

Report: Celtics re-sign Tyler Zeller for two years, $16 million

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 19:  Kyle Korver #26 of the Atlanta Hawks grabs a rebound against Tyler Zeller #44 of the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 19, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.

Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.

Watch Charles Barkley struggle to pronounce “Jonas Valanciunas” last season

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The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.

Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.

This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.

Watch highlights of USA’s 111-74 rout of Argentina in exhibition game

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Argentina isn’t considered a medal contender heading into the Rio Olympics. Their golden generation — led by Manu Ginobili — has picked up a lot of speed on the downhill side of their careers at this point.

They didn’t provide much of a challenge for Team USA in an exhibition game Friday night in Las Vegas, one won by the USA 111-74. Kevin Durant impressed playing with his new teammates in dropping 23 points, Paul George had 18, and the Americans had their way in the game.

Which is what we’re going to see a lot of in Rio — the USA’s talent level is just steps above any other team in the tournament.