Kurt Helin

Caron Butler

Report: Lakers, Clippers, Spurs, Bulls, Knicks all interested in Caron Butler


The Detroit Pistons shipped Caron Butler to Milwaukee as part of the Ersan Ilyasova trade, but the young Bucks had no real intention of keeping the veteran swingman around. He will be waived by the Bucks.

And there will be plenty of teams lined up for his services.

While his game has slipped as he’s entered his mid-30s, a number of teams see him as an affordable backup wing who can give him solid minutes. Shams Charania of Real GM says some teams looking for veteran help on the wing are lined up for Butler’s services.

After his release from the Milwaukee Bucks before July 1, Caron Butler has emerged as a candidate for the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs, a league source told RealGM.

The Lakers and New York Knicks also expect to make an inquiry on Butler, a 13-year NBA veteran who has averaged 14.3 points and 5.1 rebounds for his career.

Butler can still knock down the three — 55 percent of his shots last season were from beyond the arc, and he hit 37.9 on those shots. For a potential contender such as Spurs or Clipper that is very valuable. It was more valuable to the Pistons than some of their young wings like Cartier Martin last season, but the Pistons are looking in other directions.

Doesn’t Butler strike you as the kind of veteran the Spurs bring in and he’s rejuvenated? If they have to let Danny Green go in the chase for LaMarcus Aldridge, Butler could step in at an affordable price and provide value.

Butler will not be off the board quickly, but there are going to be a lot of contenders interested, and you can expect Butler to go after a ring.

Report: Sense around league is Kevin Love will re-sign with Cavaliers

Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Four

More and more, people around the league are getting the idea Kevin Love meant what he said, and he said what he meant:

That he plans to remain a Cleveland Cavalier.

Other teams — the Lakers, Knicks, Celtics, Trail Blazers and more — are going to come calling on July 1 when free agency opens. There remains some doubt whether those teams would even get a meeting with Love.

Cleveland is in the drivers’ seat to retain him, especially if they offer a long-term max contract, something Brian Windhorst of ESPN says they will.

Though they cannot formally make an offer until Wednesday, sources say that the Cavs for months have planned to extend a five-year, maximum contract for Love in excess of $110 million despite his shoulder and back injuries last season.

Love may speak to other teams next week, but there is a growing belief across the league that he will back up statements made throughout the season and return to the Cavs. Several sources close to Love have indicated he is likely to stay in Cleveland.

I have said from the start the question is not if Love would return, rather, the question was what kind of deal he would sign.

The Cavaliers want to lock down Love for five years at the max under the current salary cap — five years and $110 million will seem a good deal once the cap spikes with television money after the year. Even if the Cavaliers wanted to go another direction, that contract would not be hard to move.

But just like LeBron James, Love may eye a share of that big television money.

He likely will request an opt out in a year or two (or three at most), so his options remain open.

Either way, expect Love and the Cavaliers to reach a deal. The only question is exactly what it will be.

And how he will fit in with Tristan Thompson, who the Cavaliers also will re-sign (which is why LeBron is playing this “hold out” game with the Cavs).

Report: As deadline nears, signs still point to Dwyane Wade opting out, becoming free agent

Late Night with Seth Meyers - Season 2

Dwyane Wade signaled his intention to become a free agent when, on ABC during the NBA Finals, he said he would worry about where he played next season “in July.” By July, he’d be a free agent.

While the deadline for Wade to opt-in to the next year of his contract is Monday (for $16.1 million), the indications are he will choose not to and become a free agent. Via Michael Wallace of ESPN.

Nothing has changed in the standoff between the Heat and Wade.

Wade sacrificed financially both to bring the big three together (and win a couple titles) for the Heat and then again last season to help Pat Riley restructure the roster post LeBron James. Now Wade wants to be made whole for those sacrifices; he wanted a new contract in the three-year, $60 million range.

Miami, seeking to maximize their flexibility (and maybe lowball Wade into opting in) reportedly have offered more like three years, $36 million.

This has led to a little bad blood.

The challenge for Wade is finding a team out on the open market that is going to offer much more. The Lakers have been rumored, but they already have a very expensive wing player who may still put up good numbers but is on the back side of his career and has been injured a lot the last couple years. Hard to see a need for two of those. There are not a lot of other teams likely to pay Wade much more than Miami is offering.

Wade will test the market, but in the end he may need to click the ruby slippers together three times and say “there’s no place like home.”

Greg Monroe on move out of Detroit: “I don’t want to be anywhere I’m not wanted”

Detroit Pistons v Orlando Magic

The fact Greg Monroe was going to leave Detroit was right up there with “Jeb Bush might run for president” for the worst kept secret of the last couple months award.

We know four or five teams have meetings set up with Monroe — the Knicks are considered the strong front runners to land him — and none of them are the Pistons. While coach and GM Stan Van Gundy has given lip service to bringing Monroe back, Monroe himself confirmed he is moving on to the New Orleans Advocate. (Hat tip Eye on Basketball.)

He also said Van Gundy’s offense and the Pistons already having Andre Drummond sealed the deal with the move.

“I’m looking to be with a team that’s ready to win,” said Monroe during a timeout at his youth basketball clinic Saturday morning at the Delgado Community College gymnasium. “Hopefully it will be a team where I’m the missing piece….

“Stan had smaller teams in Orlando (Magic) years ago,” Monroe said. “Dre is like Dwight Howard. So Stan wants to put good players around him. The team has different plans, and I respect that. I don’t want to be anywhere I’m not wanted.”

In the next 48 hours, expect Van Gundy to deny he’s not wanted in Detroit, but that’s just part of the dance. SVG has a franchise anchor in the paint in Drummond and wants shooters and athletes around him to open up the floor and play off him. That system works (the Magic made it to the Finals, remember) and they just traded for Ersan Ilyasova, who is a much better fit than Monroe as a four in that system.

The Knicks have long been the front runners to land Monroe, but the Lakers, Celtics, and other teams want to get their foot in the door. One interesting possibility is Portland, where they are about to lose LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency and will be looking for another young, quality big man to put next to Damian Lillard. That team would be a lot closer to winning than the Knicks, Lakers or Celtics.

We’ll see in a couple days where Monroe’s meetings are.


Report: Nets, Grizzlies discussed trade to send Joe Johnson to Memphis, but deal fell apart

New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets

Memphis needs more help on the wings. They have an excellent, old-school front like with Marc Gasol — who almost certainly will re-sign in Memphis — and Zach Randolph, but they need to space the floor with shooting. They traded for Matt Barnes, who fits their grit-and-grind style but also shot 36 percent from three last season. They’ve been linked to talks for Denver’s Danilo Gallinari.

And they went after the Nets’ Joe Johnson.

However, the deal fell apart, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

The teams could not find a workable deal and have tabled discussions, but sources told ESPN.com that the Nets were encouraged enough in general to believe that they will ultimately find a trade taker for Johnson’s mammoth contract, which only has one season left to run but at a massive $24.9 million in 2015-16.

The Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons are among the other teams, like Memphis, to register exploratory interest in Johnson in recent months, but trades made recently by both teams — with the Hornets acquiring Nicolas Batum from Portland and the Pistons nabbing Ersan Ilyasova from Milwaukee — would appear to take them out of the Johnson mix.

The first takeaway here is that the Grizzles are serious about getting some more firepower on the wings this season. Finally.

The other (and it’s not a surprise, it’s been talked about before) is that the Nets want to move both Johnson and Deron Williams this summer as they remake their roster and work to get under the luxury tax line. It was always more likely that Johnson would be traded — while he is owed $24.9 million next season it is the last year of that deal. Plus he still provides value on the court, scoring 14.4 points a game and shooting 35.9 percent from three last season. While his game has slipped from its peak and he’s not super efficient, he can still make some plays.

Moving Deron Williams — whose game has slid farther and who is owed $43 million over the next two seasons — will be more challenging. Brooklyn also is shopping point guard Jarrett Jack.