When the Milwaukee Bucks gave veteran forward Caron Butler his walking papers earlier this season, the belief among many was that Butler would join the Miami Heat.
It was a situation that made far too much sense for all involved as the Heat had been keeping a roster spot warm after the NBA’s trade deadline for player exactly like Butler. Add in that they were in need of a solid small forward, Butler seemed a shoe-in for South Beach.
But shockingly, Butler decided to join the Oklahoma City Thunder, adding to an already crunched rotation which was lead by eventual MVP Kevin Durant.
It was certainly a bit of an odd fit for Butler and many questioned why he decided to play for a team who wouldn’t provide many minutes as opposed to the Heat who likely could have provided a starting spot (or at least more floor time).
The decision didn’t work out well for Butler as the Thunder were eliminated in the Western Conference Finals while Butler struggled, which is likely going to force Oklahoma City to go another way next season as they’re not expected to re-sign the veteran small forward.
As for Butler, it seems unlikely that he’ll return,” says Darnell Mayberry. “He turned 34 in March — although a player’s age hasn’t stopped the Thunder before — and the promise of the Thunder’s younger players might now be too much to again pass over. Whether they’re ready or not, it might be time to throw them into the fire and commit to developing them in games. That doesn’t bode well for Butler.”