Sources: Butler-to-Bucks deal close
Trade specifics are "still in the works," according to one source, but another source said Butler already has been informed that he's Milwaukee-bound.
A tweet from Butler on Wednesday night suggested as much:
Much respect for the organization of the Phx Suns#staytuned— Caron Butler (@realtuffjuice) August 29, 2013
The trade talks were earlier reported by the Racine Journal Times in Wisconsin. Butler was born and raised in Racine.
With new Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough known to be on the prowl for as many draft assets as he can amass, it's believed the Suns are prepared to surrender Butler for a future draft pick or two.
The Bucks don't have quite enough salary-cap space to absorb Butler's $8 million contract for the 2013-14 season outright, but they are not far away and can get there by offloading a small contract such as Ish Smith's $951,463 deal or the $1.5 million expiring contract of center Viacheslav Kravtsov, whom Milwaukee recently acquired in the sign-and-trade deal headlined by guards Brandon Jennings and Brandon Knight.
Butler is a two-time All-Star acquired by the Suns in July as part of the sign-and-trade deal with the Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers that landed J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley in L.A. and dispatched prized young guard Eric Bledsoe to Phoenix.
The 33-year-old has since been working out in Phoenix and was a featured player at the podium when the Suns recently unveiled a new uniform design. Sources, however, say McDonough has consented to allow Butler to realize a lifelong dream of playing for Milwaukee with the trade.
The Bucks signed Carlos Delfino earlier in the summer but are said to covet another small forward as he recovers from foot surgery. Butler's arrival will ensure new coach Larry Drew has a veteran to start the season at the 3-spot as opposed to relying on youngsters Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics