Bucks to buy out Caron Butler, who is expected to then sign with Heat

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Caron Butler was part of the trade that sent Eric Bledsoe to the Suns this past offseason, but he wasn’t in Phoenix for very long.

He was dealt to Milwaukee in exchange for Ish Smith, a move that was expected to work for both sides, with Smith being an uptempo fit for Phoenix and with Butler returning to play in his home state of Wisconsin.

Milwaukee has been terrible this season, however, and Butler has seen his role diminished as the team struggles to put together combinations of winning lineups. Veterans on bad, rebuilding teams are rarely a good mix (see Pau Gasol in Los Angeles), so Butler and Milwaukee are expected to part ways.

From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

Sources told ESPN.com that Wisconsin native Butler, who is earning $8 million this season on an expiring contract with his home-state Bucks, is on course to be released by Milwaukee on Wednesday and thus clear waivers Friday, well in advance of the Saturday midnight deadline by which time he must be set free to be eligible to play in the playoffs with another team.

The two-time defending champion Miami Heat, sources said, will be at the front of the line to sign Butler, who spent his first two seasons in the league with the Heat and is expected to verbally commit to a team before clearing waivers.

The Heat can always use more veterans on the bench, and Butler may earn some minutes in certain situations.

Butler has averaged 11.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in 24.1 minutes per game for the Bucks this season, while appearing in 34 contests.