When Caron Butler was traded to the Bucks this summer, it was as everyone in the organization said “we’re not tanking” and the veteran forward was going to get minutes, be a mentor to the team’s young talent and help them try and make it back to the playoffs.
In his last four games, Butler has come off the bench and his playing time has fluctuated wildly, with him not played more than 18:30 a night. He’s a limited use role player as the Bucks, wisely, have decided to play Giannis Antetokounmpo and John Henson more as they try to develop their young players.
This, not surprisingly, leads to friction.
“The information I received before coming here is that ‘You’re going to play a lot,'” Butler said. “And I want to play. I want to be out there to help the situation.
“If we’re developing on the fly, and I know Giannis (Antetokounmpo) has to play and guys have to play, but OK, there are a lot of ways those guys can play and we can still be out there developing those guys as well.
“Coach (Larry Drew) understands that and I’ve talked to him. He’s been more than helpful, and (general manager) John Hammond and everyone. I know it’s a process and we’ll get through it. We’re not even halfway through the season. Hopefully something turns for the better for the team and myself.”
It should be noted here Butler is in a contract year. He is making $8 million this season (the highest paid Buck) in the final year of his deal. He wants to play a few more years in the league and right now his value is not exactly going up. Of course the fact Butler isn’t playing all that well on the court (10.4 points a game on true shooting percentage of 46.3, well below the league average of 53.4, doesn’t help matters).
Normally you’d say Butler is pushing for a trade — and that could happen, a playoff bound team looking for depth could come knocking with an offer the rebuilding Bucks like — however Butler is a Wisconsin native and really isn’t looking to leave. He just didn’t expect to be in a rebuilding situation at the end of his career either.