Chicago Bulls GM Gar Forman and John Paxson met with incumbent Dallas Mavericks SG/SF Caron Butler Monday. Butler, a Chicago native, is just one of several potential shooting guards the Bulls have reportedly expressed initial interest in, among them: Brandon Roy, Josh Howard, and Jason Richardson, as they continue their quest to convince players to take less money for a legitimate shot at an NBA title.
Butler tweeted, “That went great,” in reference to his meeting with Chicago, followed by, “Now headed to the west……” referring to his next destination, Los Angeles. The L.A. Clippers have been identified along with the Bulls as the current favorites to land Butler.
The 31-year-old Butler was averaging nearly 17 points a game in a time share with Shawn Marion before rupturing a tendon in his knee on January 1st. The Mavericks were playing great basketball before Butler went down, struggled to adapt in his absence, before eventually settling into a rotation and beating the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
The Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson caught up with Joakim Noah at the Berto Center. “I don’t know how he is health-wise,” Noah said when asked about Butler. “But he’s definitely a great player.”
Listed at 6 feet 7 inches, 228 pounds, Butler is a natural small forward but his above-average shooting ability and handle make him a formidable choice at shooting guard. The University of Connecticut alum does have experience playing at the two with the Washington Wizards, Miami Heat and most recently with the Mavericks. His reputation around the League is a tough, multi-talented player and would figure to be a great fit in Chicago, filling a void that’s been clear since the beginning of the last season.
Butler is scheduled to visit the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday, possibly followed by the Detroit Pistons on Thursday. Free agency officially begin on December 9th.
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