This would explain the curious recent roster moves by the Bucks. Wonder if Danny had any input behind the scenes. I do the deal for Knight, Butler and 2 more first rounders. This trade doesn't help us eject some bad contracts, but 11 first round picks in the next few years can work magic in trades and draft moves.
COMMENTARY | Reports surfaced Aug. 29 that veteran small forwardCaron Butler is being traded from the Phoenix Suns, a team he was traded to earlier this offseason by the Los Angeles Clippers, to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for young bench players Ish Smith and Viacheslav Kravtsov.
Butler is no longer the young defensive stalwart he once was, but he is still a solid defender who can consistently score around 10 points per game from the small forward position, something the Bucks need to compete the first half of this season because current starter Carlos Delfino is still recovering from foot surgery.
Although Butler has very real value for Milwaukee this year, perhaps the most valuable aspect to the deal is Butler's expiring $8 million contract. Although it's unlikely the Bucks will be able to land a big signing in free agency, the contract could be used as a trade chip in a future deal.
The Bucks are now one of the few teams with the assets to bring in Rajon Rondo
By adding Caron Butler to the roster, the Bucks have now put themselves in position to be one of the most competitive trade partners for the Boston Celtics in a deal for All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo. The most valuable package that the Bucks are likely to put together would require the $8 million salary of Butler to make the numbers work for both sides.
For the Bucks, this deal makes a lot of sense because Brandon Knight has yet to prove himself as a true point guard, and the Bucks already have the explosive O.J. Mayo at shooting guard, making Knight somewhat expendable. A lineup that includes Rondo, Mayo and the newly re-signed Larry Sanders could cause a lot of damage in the Eastern Conference, and a trade is likely the only way the Bucks could bring in a player as good as Rondo, who would probably not sign with them in free agency while fielding offers from other teams in bigger markets.The most probable package would include Caron Butler, Brandon Knight and two first-round picks in exchange for Rondo. Because Knight is set to earn only $2.8 million this season, it's possible that the combined salaries of Butler and Knight would be enough to get the deal done without a fourth player from either team involved.
From the perspective of Boston, any deal that brings in an expiring contract, first-round picks and a young talented perimeter scorer is a huge success, especially since it would free up $8 million of the $12.9 million owed to Rondo in 2014-2015, assuming that the team lets Caron Butler leave. It should also be noted the added draft picks could be packaged together with the numerous picks the Celtics already have in order to move up in a very deep 2014 NBA draft.
An additional factor to consider is that Boston guard Avery Bradley is set to become a restricted free agent in the 2014 offseason, meaning that any team can offer Bradley a deal but the Celtics retain the right to match it. All indications are that Boston is unsure of Bradley's ceiling and just how much money he is worth. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge is likely dreading having to make a decision about matching a potentially bloated contract offer from another NBA team desperate to make a signing and willing to take a pricey chance on Bradley. If the Celtics are able to deal for Knight, however, they could then move Bradley before the trade deadline or in the offseason in a sign-and-trade agreement, avoiding the potential dilemma completely.
The only unanswered question that remains is whether Rondo would be willing to agree to sign an extension with a team like Milwaukee. My guess is that if the Bucks are willing to offer a max deal, Rondo would be willing to sign. After all, the Bucks have a better chance of winning in the next few seasons than the Celtics do, and signing contracts in the NBA is, for most players, ultimately a business decision above all else.