The NBA draft and free agency dominate off-season headlines, but the statuses of several players already on the Detroit Pistons’ roster are in flux for next season.
Veteran small forward Caron Butler, 35, is one such player, with the Pistons holding a $4.5-million contract option.
Butler let reporters know that he wants to remain with the Pistons because he likes the direction of the young team and wants to continue his leadership role.
“I’m in a good situation,” he said. “I like where we’re at. I like what we’ve been able to accomplish, being better than we were prior, and I feel like I’ve got my fingerprints all over these guys. So it’s a great opportunity to come back and continue the thing on.”
Butler is coming off of a career-low season in points and minutes per game. But he was signed to be a veteran voice on a young team and, by all accounts, he more than earned his $4.5 million this season.
Coach/president Stan Van Gundy said Butler was key after the team stumbled to its horrific 5-23 start. The Pistons were .500 over their final 54 games.
“They’re my boys, they’re my brothers,” Butler said. “It’s more than just basketball, because you put so much out. I’ve been around these guys more than I’ve been around my family — and some. A lot of people say that, but it’s and some, because not only have I been playing, I’ve been coaching and doing a lot of other stuff.”
Still, the NBA is a business, and the team may need the money to upgrade the roster this summer. The option deadline is late June.
If the Pistons decide to move on, Butler would prefer to latch on with a title contender.
“If not, obviously, the best thing for me is to contend,” Butler said. “It’s either one or the other. But I won’t be looking for another situation to start over with some guys and stuff like that again. It’s either do this or contend for it all.”
Contact Vince Ellis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @vincent_ellis56. ___
This article was written by Vince Ellis from Detroit Free Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.