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Will the Kings waive Caron Butler?

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

One of the earliest trade rumors that came out this season for the Kings involved Caron Butler.  ESPN's Marc Stein reported early in January that the team had promised Butler a trade to a team in which he could be involved in a larger role.  While Butler's leadership in the locker room has been valuable (multiple teammates have mentioned him as a great mentor and leader), Butler himself has not played since before Christmas and has played just 9 games overall with limited minutes in those games.

For a player like Butler who has never played less than 20 minutes a game in his career to be relegated to an end of bench role has got to be tough.  That's why I think it's fair to speculate that the Kings might waive him before March 1st, the NBA's deadline to cut players and still have them be eligible to play in the playoffs.  This would do right by Caron and also free up a roster spot for the Kings to potentially try out D-League players or other waiver wire pickups as the season grinds down and the playoffs look further and further out of reach.

One complication that might be holding up the Kings decision to do this is the fact that waiving Butler would still cost the Kings cap space for next season as his player option season would be taken into account.  That cap space would be minimal but we've already seen that the Kings don't want to keep unused cap space on the books if they don't have to as evidenced by the Philadelphia trade.  Butler seems like a very likely candidate to not exercise his player option for next season due to his lack of a role with this Kings team, so the Kings could be hoping to save some money by waiting for him to leave on his own accord this summer.

All in all, this isn't a huge deal for the Kings but it will be interesting to see what happens as in all likelihood, a decision will be made by Tuesday.