New York Knicks Rumors: Caron Butler A Potential Free Agent Target?


New York Knicks Rumors: Is Caron Butler In Their Free Agent Crosshairs?

With the cap space that the New York Knicks possess heading into the NBA Free Agency period, there will be a ton of rumors swirling about players potentially signing there. The latest one has the Knicks connected to veteran forward Caron Butler.

According to reports, the Knicks are expected to be one of multiple teams that are interested in bringing in the veteran swingman. In addition to the Knicks, the San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers are expected to show interest in him. That is an intriguing list, as a player at the stage of his career that Butler is at would normally be aiming to sign only with title contenders, but the Knicks and Lakers both find themselves on this list.

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Butler was just traded to the Milwaukee Bucks from the Detroit Pistons along with Shawne Williams in exchange for Ersan Ilyasova. This would be the second go round for Butler in Milwaukee, but he is not expected to be held onto. His contract is non-guaranteed, and it is expected that the Bucks will waive him to clear some more cap space to go after some of the big men on the market.

Last season was a struggle for Butler though, as he put up career-low numbers across the board. He received a career-low amount of minutes per game at 20.8, which played a big part in the decrease in the rest of his stats. Other career-lows he had in 2014-15 was in points at 5.9, rebounds at 2.5 and assists with one per game.

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But, where Butler was useful was from beyond the arc. Despite his poor statistical output, Butler still provided solid production from the three-point line, knocking them down at a 37.9 percent clip. Butler has become a solid three-point shooter as his career waned on, and will be the biggest asset he brings along with him on the court, as his presence in a locker room with younger players will be huge as well.

In addition to his three-point prowess, Butler can still handle himself on the defensive end of the floor as well. Last season the Pistons defense dropped off when he was off the court, as their opponents offensive rating was 105.8 with him on the court, and 107.3 with him off of it.

It is tough to imagine the Knicks being high on Butler’s list of potential landing spots, as he probably wants to sign with a team closer to contending than the Knicks. But, if he does, he will bring a much needed veteran presence to the team that is sorely lacking.

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The Knicks have a lot of younger players they are going to rely on next season, and having a veteran around to teach them the ropes would be nice. Also, he would provide much needed relief to Carmelo Anthony, as the Knicks have been unable to find a competent backup at small forward for Anthony since he came to New York.

At this stage of his career, Butler is best suited for a supporting role and that is exactly what he would be expected to deliver for the Knicks. The 13-year veteran has played on eight different teams in his career thus far, and could be making that nine depending on where he ends up as a free agent this summer.

Next: Is David West a target in free agency?

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