The San Antonio Spurs have made a lot of news this offseason with their roster transactions, and the team apparently is not through making moves.
Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops recently tweeted out that the San Antonio Spurs remain interested in signing unrestricted free agent Rasual Butler this year.
The Spurs interest in Butler dates back to early July, according to Jason Quick of the Oregonian, which also reported that the Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors were interested. The Trail Blazers reportedly offered the 13-year veteran a contract, but he was supposedly not in a hurry to sign at the time. Jabari Young of CSNNW.com reported that Butler told him that he would “love to be in Portland with the Blazers.”
Butler is mainly a three-point specialist at this point of his career and does not provide much else. The 36-year-old averaged 7.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 75 games for the Washington Wizards last season. He shot 42.2 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from the three-point arc, including 41.0 percent from the corners, per Basketball-Reference.
First, Washington and Portland apparently have no interest in Butler. Washington currently has 15 players with guaranteed contracts, including five small forwards. Portland is rebuilding with youth so they wouldn’t be a fit on that point alone. The Blazers also currently have 17 players under contract with 14 players holding fully guaranteed deals. In addition, Portland has five small forwards on its roster — Al-Farouq Aminu, Mo Harkess, Pat Connaughton, Luis Montero, and Mike Miller.
San Antonio and Golden State, however, appear to be a good fit for Butler, as both teams could use a three-point specialist who could put up a bunch of points in a pinch off the bench. Butler can definitely do this when he gets hot — Butler had 21 double-figure games and topped the 20-point plateau four times last year. He also registered a scoring efficiency of 1.12 and a shooting efficiency of 51.0 percent.
The Spurs, who are one of the favorites to win the Western Conference, currently have 17 players under contract worth over $87 million in salaries, meaning San Antonio is over the salary cap as well as the luxury tax threshold. Therefore, the Spurs would not be able offer Butler a contract worth more than the veteran’s minimum.
If Butler does sign with San Antonio, he will compete with Kyle Anderson, Jonathon Simmons, Reggie Williams, and Jimmer Fredette. Anderson is a lock to make the team and can play multiple positions. Simmons also has a guaranteed deal but will likely spend time with the franchise’s D-League team in Austin. Williams and Fredette have non-guaranteed contracts.
Golden State is in the same boat as San Antonio in terms of the salary cap and luxury tax. The Warriors have 16 players under contract worth over $95 million in salary — 13 players have guaranteed deals, while the other three hold partially guaranteed deals. Butler would likely battle James Michael McAdoo, Chris Babb, and Ian Clark for the final spot on the roster if he signed with the team.
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