Suns Reportedly Interested in Caron Butler

The Washington Post's Michael Lee dropped this little gem into his Friday article about the Wizards struggles.

The Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns, the Wizards' opponents on Friday and Saturday, respectively, were both interested in acquiring Butler, who has been in a season-long slump under new Coach Flip Saunders, averaging just 16.7 points per game and shooting 41.4 percent.

Since this is the Washington Post and it is the first real trade rumor involving the Suns this season it is probably worth examining at least a little bit. Not too much though because in all likelihood this is an old rumor from the off-season and was tangled up in the various reports involving Amare going to Washington.

And of course we all know that Amare was and probably will be involved in trade rumor with half the teams in the league.

So, I wouldn't and don't take this one too seriously but it is out there and our job (if you will) is to overreact and get all hyperbolic about these things. Otherwise what's the internet/blogs for - right, Tiger?

Butler is a small forward with emphasis on small. He's a guy barely bigger than Jason Richardson and probably no stronger. Caron has had a classic up and down career marred by repeated injuries. What I love about him is his tenacity and rebounding for his size (6 rpg) but how exactly would he fit on to this Suns team?

He wouldn't. He's a wing player that doesn't shoot the three (~30%) and is a guy who would need to play if he came here so who's minutes does he get? Do you bench Grant Hill to play Caron Butler? In the long term, maybe but for these season, no. He's a nice player but he's not a guy you would risk much to get as part of a long term plan and certainly not at the price.

Butler is under contract until the end of 2010/11 season making about $10.5m next year. That's about $4m less than Jason Richardson will make in the final year of his contract so on the surface a swap of those two doesn't work from a numbers perspective even if the Wizards threw in the intriguing young Nick Young's rookie contract which they wouldn't likely do.

Salaries aside, the last thing the Suns need to do at this point is make a major trade like this. Richardson is playing well for the Suns and the team chemistry is fantastic. Butler might be a great guy, but I think recent history has shown that making mid-season trade of major players only makes sense in fantasy leagues, video games, and for desperate teams.

The Phoenix Suns are none of those which is why I don't think there's anything nor should there be anything to this rumor (which is likely out of date anyway). Move along. Nothing to see here.

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