ESPN's Ramon Shelburne tweeted the after Butler's buyout:
"Decision for Caron Butler has been tough (Heat, OKC, Bulls, Spurs) but he's expecting to decide Friday, sources said."
All four teams could certainly use help from one more small forward, so fans of those organizations (and one other) should keep their fingers crossed and hope for the best.
The Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat have emerged as frontrunners to sign forward Caron Butler, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
After securing a contract buyout from the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday morning, Butler is expected to clear waivers and become a free agent.
San Antonio and Chicago are in pursuit and plan to make pitches for Butler too, league sources said.
The fact that Oklahoma City stopped pursuing Danny Granger has led many in the NBA to believe the Thunder are confident in their recruitment of Butler.
The acquisition of Butler, who earned All-Star honors in the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, could be a tremendous boost to the Thunder and Heat's pursuit of an NBA championship. Despite initial reports that Butler was destined to sign with Miami, Oklahoma City has a strong chance to land Butler, sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Heat are competing to lure Butler back to where his career started as the 10th overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft, but the ability to fill the gap as a complementary scorer to Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook has made the Thunder an attractive destination, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Oklahoma City could move Durant to power forward and slide Butler into the small forward spot in different lineup variations.
Butler, 33, averaged 11 points in 34 games for Milwaukee this season. Butler has averaged 15.3 points per game in his 12-year career.Butler's Impact in Milwaukee
Bucks coach Larry Drew said the Caron Butler buyout should not have an impact, mental or physical, on his team. “When it first surfaced, all the talk about it possibly happening, I think everybody kind of had it in their minds to prepare for it,” Drew said. “We really appreciate what Caron did while he was here. Caron is a real pro and we appreciate his time that he spent here with us and wish him the best.”
Butler’s departure clears the way for recently acquired Jeff Adrien to take over the backup power forward minutes, with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton stepping into bigger roles at small forward. “It doesn’t really affect (the rotation),” Drew said, “it kind of lays it out now for us who the backups will be and makes it a little bit more clear.”Milwaukee has used 24 lineups, second most in the league, and will start Nate Wolters, Brandon Knight, Middleton, Ersan Ilyasova and Zaza Pachulia. Carlos Delfino and Larry Sanders are inactive.
--- with reports from Yahoo NBA
Bucks officially bought out Butler's contract; Miami and OKC are frontrunners in signing him Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on on 2/28/2014 Rating: