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Wizards and Mavs appear to be close to a deal for Caron Butler

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UPDATE by Jake at 9:15 p.m.: Wojnarowski is now reporting that both teams are "negotiating whether to expand the trade to include Wizards center Brendan Haywood."  I've been texting back and forth with Mike about the proposed deals.  He isn't a big fan of the 4 player trade and he is even less of a fan of the proposal involving Haywood, as you would probably expect.  Also, I didn't include this in the original post, but Quinton Ross has a player option for 2010-11, so I'm guessing the Wizards would like to avoid taking on his contract if possible.

Right now, everything is still in the rumor stage.  There is no fire yet, but there are plenty of smoke signals out there. 

Let's start with Adrian Wojnarowski, who is reporting the Wizards and Mavericks are close to a deal that would send Caron and DeShawn Stevenson to Dallas for Josh Howard.  Right now, the sticking point is a tussle over whether Dallas will send Tim Thomas or Quinton Ross along with Josh Howard.  Salary wise, the difference between Thomas and Ross is about $300,000, making it unlikely that it either team would back away from the deal entirely if they don't get what they want out of that part of the deal.

Additionally, Wojnarowski tweeted the following:

Yahoo reported overnight that trade was in advanced talks but Dallas backed away for a bit. Mavs returned to today to get it done.

Butler is going to Dallas, but Wiz and Celts will continue to discuss a scaled down deal for Jamison, source says. Boston still interested.

David Aldridge also tweeted that a deal involving Butler and Howard was close.

But like any trade rumor, things just aren't that simple.  Marc Stein and Eddie Sefko are reporting that another key Wizards could be a part of these trade talks: Brendan Haywood.  In both reports, Haywood and Butler would be shipped to Dallas, along with DeShawn Stevenson.  

According to Stein, Howard and Drew Gooden would be heading to Washington, along with either Tim Thomas, Quinton Ross, or James Singleton.  Sefko is reporting the deal would send Howard, Gooden, Singleton, and Thomas to Washington.  Problem is, under that proposal Washington would have to send at least one more player to Dallas.  According to ESPN's Trade Machine, Javaris Crittenton could be added to the deal Sefko is reporting without breaking trade restrictions, so that's always an option.

Like I said at the beginning, nothing is official as of yet, but it's looking more and more like we have seen or are close to seeing Caron Butler's last days as a Washington Wizard, and depending on who you ask, possibly Brendan Haywood's as well.