NBA free agent rumors: Wizards look into Caron Butler, several others

Ronald Martinez

The Wizards are covering their bases in case Trevor Ariza leaves and have contacted several other wing players since free agency began, including a former star for the franchise.

The Wizards seem to know that Trevor Ariza has a big market for their services and have been in touch with several alternative wing players since free agency began, according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post. The notable names: Caron Butler, P.J. Tucker, Marvin Williams, Luol Deng, Anthony Morrow and Danny Granger.

Of that group, Butler is obviously the most intriguing given his history here. He's aging, but was a helpful player for the Thunder during the playoffs, when he replaced Thabo Sefolosha, another Wizards target before he signed in Atlanta, in the starting lineup. You also might recall how the Wizards reportedly came very close to dealing Ariza for Butler two years ago before former Clippers owner and horrible person Donald Sterling nixed the deal.

Thank goodness that didn't happen, because Butler's game has fallen off since and Ariza's has been revived. Butler can barely defend anymore and has little ability to do much more but fling jumpers at this stage of his career. He's slowly evolved into more of a spot-up shooter to compensate, but that's the extent of his skills.

Several of those other names are more interesting. Tucker is probably the best fit after he had a breakout year playing tough defense and hitting corner threes at a high rate for the Suns. Then again, all these are reasons for Phoenix to want to keep him. Morrow is a great shooter and awful defender that is getting interest from Miami. Williams had a strong year in Utah, but mostly as a stretch 4. Granger has similar problems to Butler, while Deng is likely out of Washington's price range.

But they're alternatives, and due diligence is good regardless of what ends up happening with Ariza.

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