Sunday, April 4, 2010
Updated: April 5, 9:54 AM ET
Sources: Nuggets to sign big man Butch
By Marc Stein
With Kenyon Martin still sidelined and the playoffs approaching, the Denver Nuggets are reaching into the D-League to add some frontcourt depth.
The Nuggets have reached an agreement to sign center Brian Butch of the Bakersfield Jam to a contract for the rest of this season and a non-guaranteed deal for next season, according to sources close to the situation.
Denver has been looking for an extra big man all season but couldn't strike a palatable trade before the Feb. 18 trading deadline and passed on free agents Brian Cook and Jake Voskuhl after working out both in March.
The Nuggets lost key reserve Chris Andersen to an ankle sprain in Thursday's home win over Portland while still awaiting the return of Martin, who has been sidelined for the past 16 games with a knee injury that could require season-ending surgery.
Martin said last week after Denver's loss in Dallas that he hopes to come back with a few games left in the regular season to test his left knee for the playoffs, but conceded that he might not be able to come back that soon and possibly not until next season.
A 6-foot-11 center out of Wisconsin, Butch is averaging nearly 19 points and 12 rebounds for Bakersfield.
Butch will become the ninth D-League player this season to receive a non-guaranteed contract for next season in addition to a rest-of-season deal. He joins Houston's Mike Harris, Curtis Jerrells, Garrett Temple, San Antonio's Alonzo Gee, Utah's Sundiata Gaines and Othyus Jeffers, Golden State's Reggie Williams and Chicago's Chris Richard.
Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com.