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Small forward is a very unique position. The ideal candidate for a small forward is a player who is around 6’8, long, athletic and can attack the basket. While that used to be the scouting report on Caron Butler, his game has begun to tail off.
It is debatable if Butler’s game is suffering from the Los Angeles Clippers’ system or the abundance of talent around him. However, the numbers do not lie. Butler recorded the second-lowest PER of his career last season at 11.77. Unfortunately, this season has not been much better at 12.24.
While there will be rumblings all summer of Butler, and possibly DeAndre Jordan, being packaged with Eric Bledsoe, the simple fact is that the Clippers need an upgrade at small forward. Butler is still an adequate defender, but with one year remaining on his contract, it is unlikely Butler is around once his contract expires.
The Clippers need to find a small forward who can help Jordan and Blake Griffin on the glass. However, they also need one that can match up with the elite small forwards in the league.
Additionally, Matt Barnes will likely have a team offer him more than the veteran’s minimum this season, and Grant Hill looks to be at the end of the road in his career.