The Phoenix Suns traded for Caron Butler earlier in the NBA off-season, a move that landed them a veteran wing player. However, the Suns elected to try and create some cap space and continue rebuilding as they traded Butler to the Milwaukee Bucks at the end of this past week.
The Butler trade saves the Suns $5.65 million of guaranteed money next season, which is a great deal for a team attempting to negate some poor decisions in the recent past of the organization that now leaves them handcuffed with the salary cap. However, the Suns might have had another motive behind wanting to get rid of Butler off of their books.
As speculated by Scott Schroeder of SB Nation, the Butler trade could mean that the Suns plan to waive the much-maligned Michael Beasley, who recently has been battling some legal issues stemming from an arrest on suspicion of marijuana possession.
The reason that the Butler trade could be tied to Beasley being waived is the financial aspect of the deal. Beasley is still owed $9 million of guaranteed money by the Suns, meaning that they would have to pay him that if they choose to waive him. Obviously, that’s not something a new ownership would initially be keen on. However, with the bit of financial flexibility that the Butler trade created with the Suns, they may be more willing to pay Beasley to get him out of town.
The physical tools have always been there with Beasley, but the attitude and mental approach to the game have not. He’s essentially been more trouble than he’s worth over his career and that has been the case in Phoenix as well. The Butler trade could be the beginning of the end of Beasley’s time with the Suns.
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