Did Milwaukee Bucks Acquire Caron Butler for Trade Bait?
Milwaukee Bucks small forward Caron Butler was very emotional during his introductory press conference, which took place at his old high school. All the signs point to the organization being very excited about the team’s possibilities next season with Butler in the starting lineup. However, there has been some speculation that Milwaukee only traded for the veteran so that they could use him as trade bait.
There has been a rumor circulating about a possible trade involving the Bucks and Boston Celtics in which Butler and point guard Brandon Knight would be dealt for point guard Rajon Rondo. Obviously, acquiring Rondo would be a huge deal for Milwaukee and would certainly upgrade their roster immediately. However, it would also set them back at small forward, which was the biggest position of need entering the offseason.
It is certainly a possibility that the Bucks traded for Butler for the sole purpose of using him in a package deal to acquire an All-Star player. With that being said, I believe it is something fans should not get their hopes up for because I think Butler will remain a member of the Bucks for the 2013-14 NBA season.
The fact is Milwaukee has no one else to start at small forward. Carlos Delfino is dealing with a severe ankle injury, while first-round draft pick Giannis Antetokounmpo is not ready to handle a starting role. Getting Rondo would be huge for the franchise, but it would come at a big cost.
Another big reason why I do not believe the Bucks have any plans of parting ways with Butler is because they held his press conference at Racine Park High School, where the veteran used to play high school ball. Not to mention, general manager John Hammond talked about big plans for the 33-year-old.
“We talked about needing veteran players who can help us,” Hammond said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “A veteran player who can mentor, a veteran player who can help lead the young guys, and we know Caron can do that. But make no mistake. He is here for a lot more than that. We need him on the floor. We project him to be our starting small forward. We project him to play a lot of minutes for our team. We project him to help us win games.”
It is always fun to discuss rumors in the offseason, but I personally believe this one will turn out to be just that. Expect to see Butler suiting up next to O.J. Mayo, Ersan Ilyasova, Larry Sanders and Knight next season.