The Indiana Pacers signed 34-year-old Rasual Butler to a non-guaranteed contract on Tuesday. Despite Butler’s age, 34, the Pacers have been looking to add veteran players or at least players who can shoot, and Butler fits both of those bills.
Butler hasn’t played in the NBA since his time with the Toronto Raptors during the 2011-2012 season. Last year, he played 36 games with the D-League Tulsa 66ers, where he averaged 13.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. He was unable to make his way back to the NBA last year, but found his way onto the Pacers’ Summer League team.
During the five Orlando Summer League games, Butler averaged 6.2 points and 3.0 rebounds, enough to make an impression on head coach Frank Vogel and the rest of the coaching staff.
The Pacers could use a guy like Butler to fill their remaining roster spots. He is a veteran with not only playoff and NBA experience, but life experience as well. Butler has faced the ups and downs of NBA life – five teams in 10 seasons – that many players on the Pacers may face in their careers.
Having another veteran to help guide players like Lance Stephenson, Paul George, and Roy Hibbert down the right path would be a bigger benefit than having another young player who cannot offer anything of value to the team.
With Butler’s contract being non-guaranteed, he will need to continue impressing the coaching staff during the Pacers’ training camp and preseason. If he can do so, then he should have no problem earning one of the two open roster spots, and he might finally win the championship he has been seeking all these years.