According to the recent sports news, the Phoenix Suns have traded small forward Caron Butler to the Milwaukee Bucks for point guard Ish Smith and center Viacheslav Kravstov. The move sends Butler to his hometown team. The 11-year NBA veteran is from nearby Racine. The Suns acquired Butler and point guard Eric Bledsoe from the Clippers on July 10 in a three-team trade that sent the Suns’ Jared Dudley and Milwaukee’s J.J. Redick to Los Angeles. Milwaukee got two second-round draft picks in the deal.
Butler signed a three-year, $24 million contract with the Clippers in December of 2011. A starter for the Clippers the last two seasons, Butler has averaged 15.5 points in stops that included Miami, the Los Angeles Lakers, Washington, Dallas and the Clippers. “We’re very excited to welcome Caron back home,” Bucks general manager John Hammond said in a statement.
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said the trade “gives us significant cap space as well as the flexibility to trade for another exciting player.” It also could provide some money that would make it easier to swallow the $9 million hit the team would take if it waives Michael Beasley, who was arrested in early August on suspicion of marijuana possession and had been a disappointment on and off the court in his one season with Phoenix. Finding someone who would take him in a trade seems unlikely, given his long history of marijuana problems.
The trade is the latest in a series of efforts by the new general manager McDonough and new coach Jeff Hornacek to rebuild the Suns after the team endured its second-worst finish in franchise history. Butler had expressed satisfaction with the role made for him in Phoenix, even serving as one of the models at a local shopping mall when the Suns unveiled their new uniforms. But he undoubtedly will love the move back to his home area.