2014 NBA Trade Deadline: Bobcats Were Close to Landing Butler, Neal From Bucks

By Cody Williams
Butler Bobcats Bucks Trade
Jeff Hanisch – USA Today Sports Images

The Charlotte Bobcats have been a part of quite a few rumors leading up to the Feb. 20 NBA Trade Deadline. The current eight-seed in the Eastern Conference has been reported to have interest in Philadelphia 76ers wing Evan Turner and in Boston Celtics power forward Brandon Bass. It appears those weren’t the only players Charlotte was in discussions about, though.

According to a report early on Tuesday morning from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Bobcats have been in talks with the Milwaukee Bucks over the past week in regards to potentially acquiring Caron Butler and Gary Neal. However, Wojnarowski says that those “talks crumbled in recent days.”

Though Wojnarowski’s report doesn’t go into detail about who the Bobcats were planning to send to Milwaukee in return, you have to assume that Charlotte was looking to unload Ben Gordon’s expiring contract and that the Bucks would be willing to take on that deal in order to free up cap-space to try and continue rebuilding this summer.

Talks may have stalled for now, but bringing in Neal and Butler would be big for Charlotte as they try and make a push to solidify their playoff positioning after the All-Star break. The Bobcats rank in the bottom half of the league in terms of team three-point percentage at 35.3 percent and average the second-fewest made three-point field goals per game this season, knocking down a mere 5.8 per game.

The Bobcats have re-invented themselves under new head coach Steve Clifford as one of the better defensive teams in the league, but their offense has limited their success this season. Bringing in offensive-minded role players like Butler and Neal would not only aid their cause on that end of the floor, but would more than likely to forfeit any of their defense by sending away a player like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

As the report stands, this deal isn’t going to happen. In years past, though, we’ve seen rumored trades stall, but then liven back up not long after. As the Bobcats continue to look to improve through moves at the deadline, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the talks between the Bobcats and Bucks start discussing this deal once again in the next couple of days.

Cody Williams is a Senior Writer with Rant Sports. Follow Cody on Twitter @TheSizzle20, add him on Google and like his Facebook page.

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