In somewhat strange news, ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that the Sacramento Kings will trade Caron Butler soon, either before or after Christmas (has to be one of those, right?) to accommodate his request for playing time. George Karl has substantially shortened his rotation over the last few weeks, and Butler has been one of the many odd men out.
Marc Stein, Via ESPN -
The Sacramento Kings have pledged to veteran forward Caron Butler that they will trade him to a team where he can have a larger role, league sources said Wednesday.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Kings plan to move Butler shortly after Christmas. Butler, 35, has found minutes hard to come by in the Kings' frontcourt.
The Milwaukee Bucks, Butler's hometown team, have quickly emerged as the likely destination for Butler, according to sources close to him. He is a native of Racine, Wisconsin.
This is a little disappointing, to be honest. A lot was said in the offseason about the importance of Butler's locker room leadership, and it doesn't look like that will be a part of this organization much longer. I don't blame the Kings, or Vlade Divac, for granting Butler's wish here, as you have little to gain from holding a veteran like Butler hostage.
The strange part is Butler's inability to identify what his role would be in Sacramento prior to the season. It's possible that the Kings had told him more playing time would be coming his way, and that's why he chose Sacramento in the first place, but that is a very hard promise to make to a 35-year old swingman who is clearly past their prime.
Stein mentioned the Milwaukee Bucks as a potential suitor for Butler, but I wouldn't expect anything of tangible value in return. If this isn't an outright salary dump, the most you could possibly expect is a 2nd round draft selection, or a rarely used Buck veteran like Chris Copeland.