Does Caron Butler fit in Memphis?
The Grizzlies have strengthen their lineup thus far this off-season, as they brought back point guard Beno Udrih and signed veteran swingman Vince Carter. The one remaining position where the Grizzlies could use the most help is at small forward. Carter can play small forward, but it would be ideal to find another player who could take over for Tayshaun Prince.
Moving Prince should be a priority this upcoming year, and whether or not it should happen in the off-season is debatable. Prince has one year left on his contract at $7 million, but his numbers have taken a big dip as of late. It would be nice to find someone who can share time with Carter at small forward who is still productive at this point in his career.
Caron Butler would be a short term solution for Memphis, as he could help them move closer to title contention in the next couple seasons. Although, I do have my reservations about Butler, as he is notorious for taking bad shots. Something of note was that last year, after being waived by the Bucks and picked up by OKC, he improved his shot selection drastically. He went from shooting 36.1% from three with the Bucks, to 44.1% with the Thunder. That’s an 8% change over the course of half of a season.
Similar to Prince, Butler’s numbers have dropped off since his prime, but Butler can put up better numbers between the two. Butler can still defend, and if he can keep his shooting stroke from last year going, then he would be a formidable threat from deep as well.
However, Butler does have a number of suitors that are interested in him. The Thunder would love to have him back, and appear to be the front-runner. Other teams interested include both Los Angeles squads, in the Lakers and Clippers. Butler would more than likely come at a price similar to Carter, at around $3 million per year.
Something else to keep in mind: There is one statistical certainty with Butler, and that’s that he will get at least one steal per year from Jonas Valanciunas.
In all honesty, Memphis has had a good off-season so far and adding Butler would be a nice addition. It’s just a matter of finding one or two more pieces, and the Grizzlies will be strong contenders this upcoming year.