No hometown happiness for Butler
Nov 22, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Caron Butler (3) brings the ball up court during the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Image by Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
One day after another frustrating Bucks loss, veteran forward and Racine native Caron Butler expressed unhappiness over his dwindling playing time, now at 25 minutes per game after averaging 31.4 mpg through the first two weeks of the season.
Butler says that while he understands the team’s desire to play youngsters Giannis Antetokounmpo, John Henson, and Khris Middleton, “you just want to play a role in the process.” Butler spoke to a small group of reporters Thursday afternoon after the team’s practice at the Cousins Center.
Butler, who came to Milwaukee in a late-August trade from Phoenix, has been widely respected throughout his career as a locker room leader and rookie mentor.
Coach Larry Drew told reporters that he has had conversations with Butler and his agent, but there is a commitment to playing the team’s younger players. “And if there is no happiness there, I guess they’re going to have to do something.”
Butler added that he could be an asset to the Bucks in free agent recruiting of players to come to Milwaukee, but that might be a hard sell without more minutes. “This is a small market,” he continued. “To get guys like O.J. Mayor and Gary Neal to come in as free agents you have to make it attractive. If a hometown guy can’t be happy here…who will come here?”
While the 33-year old two-time NBA All-Star maintains that he isn't seeking out a trade from the Bucks yet, if he is dealt before the Feb. 20 league deadline, “I know that I’ll be in a good situation, because it can’t get (any) worse.”
The NBA-worst 7-31 Bucks will play at Houston on Saturday night.