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.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry works for a lead executive – David Griffin – who inherited, rather than chose, Gentry in the first place. Gentry has had just one winning season in five years in New Orleans, and the Pelicans particularly underwhelmed this season.
Connect the dots.
William Guillory of The Athletic:
The worst-kept secret in the NBA is that Gentry’s time with the Pelicans won’t last much longer.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Executive VP David Griffin and Pelicans ownership have a decision to make with a year left on Gentry’s contract, sources said. Consider two relationships Griffin has back to his front-office days in Cleveland and Phoenix, respectively, if there’s a change in New Orleans: LA Clippers assistant Ty Lue and Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd, sources said.
Zion Williamson was transcendent at times this season. Brandon Ingram blossomed. Youngsters Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Jaxson Hayes showed flashes. Veterans Jrue Holiday, J.J. Redick and Derrick Favors provided reliable depth and versatility.
But New Orleans was never quite as good as the sum of its parts.
Some of that falls on Gentry.
The Pelicans’ defense was often scrambled. An offensive-minded coach, Gentry hasn’t shown he can correct that issue. His lineup decisions rarely maximized the offense, either.
Lue and Kidd are unsurprising candidates. Lue had a great record working for Griffin with the Cavaliers (obligatory LeBron James mention), and Kidd is good at getting his name tied to job searches. Are Lue and Kidd the most likely coaches to replace Gentry? Maybe. Or maybe they’re just the first candidates to emerge publicly. This job search isn’t even officially underway.
But it could be soon.
Joel Embiid injured his ankle in the 76ers’ loss to the Trail Blazers yesterday.
How serious is it?
Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia:
Joel Embiid is out for Tuesday’s game against the Suns with the left ankle injury he sustained in the first quarter Sunday vs. the Blazers. He’ll be undergoing treatment and evaluation at the team’s practice Monday night.
Brett Brown said he expected Embiid to play again before the playoffs, though characterized that view as “just one man’s opinion.”
That sounds like great news for Philadelphia, which is already without Ben Simmons.
Embiid can be dominant. With him, the 76ers still have a chance of advancing in the playoffs. It might even be easier to create space around Embiid – where Embiid can really feast – without Simmons (though the loss of the talented Simmons lowers Philadelphia’s ceiling).
However, the 76ers don’t deserve benefit of the doubt for setting accurate injury timelines, particularly with Embiid. There’s an element of “see it to believe it” here.
As J.J. Redick stared into the distance, he had to see this coming.
Redick will miss the playoffs for the first time in his 14-year career. His Pelicans were eliminated from the postseason race yesterday.
At 13 years, Redick’s playoff streak is tied for the 13th-longest in NBA history. No current player has a longer streak at any point his career. LeBron James also had a 13-year playoff streak (which was snapped last year).
Here are the longest individual postseason streaks in NBA history:
Obviously, some of Redick’s streak was out of his control. He got drafted in 2006 by the Magic, who were rising with Dwight Howard. But Redick’s competitiveness and professionalism made him a steady contributor, and he chose winning situations with the Clippers then 76ers.
But New Orleans was too flawed to make a major leap in this Western Conference.
This clears the way for Bucks wing Kyle Korver to take over the longest active playoff streak. He has played in the last 12 postseasons, and Milwaukee has already clinched a playoff berth.
Here are the longest postseason streaks that could remain active this year.
Players whose teams have already clinched a playoff berth are in blue. Players whose teams are still in the race but haven’t clinched are in gold.
Players are listed with the teams they made the postseason with during their streaks. If they haven’t reached the playoffs with their current team, that team is listed in brackets:
Another testing issue for Deandre Ayton.
This one comes at a terrible time for the Suns.
Phoenix is trying to complete a longshot run to the playoffs and playing the Thunder in a key game today. But Ayton arrived late to the arena after missing a coronavirus test yesterday.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Like many Suns, Ayton has played well in the resumption. Phoenix doesn’t have another big-man option like him, especially with Aron Baynes sidelined. The Suns started Dario Saric in a small lineup today.
Ayton arrived to the arena and is warming up on an exercise bike. He could still get into the game and make a difference.
Already locked into the 4-6 range in the Western Conference and perhaps trying to keep its top-20-protected first-round pick, Oklahoma City is playing without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, Steven Adams, Nerlens Noel and Dennis Schroder. None of those will players will make a late entrance into the game.
Also: It’s ridiculous this wasn’t publicly disclosed sooner. The NBA continues to tout transparency while trying to draw more gambling revenue. Yet, a major lineup issue like this remains secret? That opens the door for some bettors to get inside information, which would be so damaging to the league’s integrity.