The New Orleans Hornets will trade shooting guard Rasual Butler today to the Los Angeles Clippers for a future conditional second-round draft pick, a league source confirmed on Wednesday.
The swap gives the Hornets some financial flexibility - Butler was scheduled to earn $3.945 million this season - as well as potentially opens up minutes at the position for Julian Wright, Morris Peterson and rookie Marcus Thornton.
Peterson was the starting two guard last season before early injuries opened the spot for Butler, who seized the moment by having arguably his best NBA season.
The Los Angeles Clippers today acquired veteran swingman Rasual Butler and cash from the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for a conditional second round draft pick in 2016.
“We are very excited to add Rasual to our roster,” stated Clippers Head Coach and General Manager Mike Dunleavy. “We believe he is another piece who will help us get back to being a competitive playoff team.”
The seven-year NBA veteran registered his most productive season in 2008-09, averaging 11.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 31.9 minutes while playing in all 82 games (74 starts) for the Hornets. Butler also connected on 40 percent of his field goals and 37 percent of his shots from behind the three-point line last season. In five playoff games for the Hornets in 2009, Butler tallied 10.6 points and 3.0 rebounds per contest.
“Today’s move allows us to increase our financial flexibility while at the same time gives us an opportunity to improve at that position,” said General Manager Jeff Bower. “Due to the depth we have, it will allow us to open up minutes and opportunities for Julian Wright, Morris Peterson and rookie Marcus Thornton, all of whom we anticipate great contributions from this season.”
Rasual basically became a starter by default last season. Mo Pete was sucking and had gotten injured and there was really no one to challenge Rasual for the starting position. Devin Brown was sucking as well. Rasual just so happened to bounce back this season from that terrible 07-08 season that relished him to the end of the bench while the Hornets went on to win the SW Division title.
The Hornets probably still aren't finished with the offseason.