The Nuggets reportedly made a couple of roster moves this weekend, one expected and one that is bad Karma, according to Chris Tommason at FanHouse.
The Nuggets have waived Coby Karl, the son of coach George Karl. Which was both expected and a little bit sad because the younger Karl has NBA game but his contract was about to go up to $854,389, the minimum for a player of his experience. It’s also sad because we wanted the first son to play for his father the coach in NBA history.
Waiving Brian Butch is something else entirely.
Butch is a 7’0″ center on a team that needs size, but that’s not why waiving him was a surprise. Butch injured himself playing for the Nuggets Summer League team in Vegas, it’s not customary to cut injured guys free.
The Nuggets should have to pay him in some form, and cover medical expenses, until he recovers in the first couple of months of next year. Otherwise, instant Karma is going to get them.
Both of these are all about money. Butch makes the minimum, but because the Nuggets are over the tax line waiving him saves $1.5 million (and $1.7 million is saved by waiving Karl).
Some praise is in order for the Denver Nuggets: they had a chance to sign an empty name (a Brian Cook, a Mikki Moore, or a Mark Blount), and instead signed something of a player. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Denver has signed Brian Butch, the reigning D-League All-Star game MVP, for the rest of the season. Butch will also have an unguaranteed salary for next season.
Butch is a decent add, and he’ll provide a different look at center than the Nuggets are used to. He’s not one to attack the basket on the move like Nene, finish around the rim like Kenyon Martin, play clean up like Chris Andersen, or Johan Petro like Johan Petro. Instead, Butch gives Denver a decent rebounder (11.9 RPG for the Jam) and an outside scoring threat (35% from three). Not much else, but hey, what do you expect from mining the big man free agent crop at this point in the season?
Ultimately, Denver picked up a serviceable big, even if he’s the heir apparent to Raef LaFrentz. Butch should be able to provide some decent minutes in the middle while Andersen nurses a sprained ankle. He won’t be tearing up the paint with drop-steps or sweeping hooks anytime soon, but I see little harm in throwing another shooter on the floor (in limited minutes, of course) to help space the court for Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups.
No comment on his ability to protect the rim, though.