NBA Free Agents: Could Caron Butler Replace Richard Jefferson in San Antonio?

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IDecember 8, 2011

Could Caron Replace RJ in San Antonio?
Could Caron Replace RJ in San Antonio?Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With reports of Richard Jefferson on his way out of San Antonio, according to Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski, could the Spurs be targeting unrestricted veteran free-agent shooting guard Caron Butler as his replacement? Jefferson would be released via the amnesty clause (even though the Spurs would have to pay the remainder of his massive contract).

Caron Butler is a more athletic fit in terms of his shooting abilities to play alongside or behind the likes of Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. He also is a decent defender and that is something the Spurs look to add to their roster.

However, on the other hand, by missing so many games due to injury last year, he may need to play games in order to get his legs completely back. Butler played in a few games for the defending champions Dallas Mavericks last season before missing a good portion of the season due to a knee injury.

Jefferson came over to San Antonio in a trade from the Milwaukee Bucks in 2009 and struggled to find his place on the team. The San Antonio Spurs are looking to do some re-organizing to their roster after losing to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first-round of the playoffs in 2010-11. The Spurs currently have a roster filled with veteran players who will be playing monitored minutes in order to get the maximum use out of them throughout the long NBA season.  

Based on the Spurs' history of adding quality “value” players (such as Robert Horry, Roger Mason Jr., Antonio McDyess) to their roster over the past so many years, they could be looking to get younger in order to take full advantage of the shortened but robust NBA schedule. The Spurs are very conservative in the moves that they make, and Butler is one of the few notable free agents on their radar.