Butler-Howard Wizards Rumor Makes No Sense for Washington

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IFebruary 13, 2010

WASHINGTON - MAY 2: Caron Butler #3 of the Washington Wizards gets fouled by Wally Szczerbiak #10 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2008 NBA Playoffs at the Verizon Center on May 2, 2008 in Washington, DC. The Cavaliers won 105-88 to advance to the next round. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

I understand that the Washington Wizards would like to start making moves to change the atmosphere and the perception of the team, especially after the Gilbert Arenas incident that became a major distraction and embarrassment.

Even with that, though, there's a troubling rumor that's been going around: The Wizards would trade Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood for Josh Howard and Erick Dampier.

The question becomes, why in the world would the Wizards make such an insane trade?

Howard is nowhere near the talent of Butler. Hadarii Jones would have you believing that Howard and Butler are one in the same. I will agree with Jones' assessment that Haywood and Dampier give you the same amount of production, though.

If the Wizards organization is truly caring about the perception of the team after the Arenas' debacle, then Howard shouldn't even be considered!

Do the Wizards really want to bring in a man who was arrested in 2008 for drag racing in North Carolina? Howard has also admitted to smoking marijuana.

Bringing in Howard does not sound like the fresh start that the Wizards; it sounds more like they are continuing to alienate their fans. Howard is not the answer the Wizards are looking for in terms of creating a more positive perception of the team.

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Even without the maturity issues of Howard, the trade hardly makes any sense for the Wizards. Butler is the far superior player. He's the better defender and he's the better scorer.

Career-wise, Butler averages 16.7 points, six rebounds, three assists, 1.7 steals, on 44.1 percent shooting, 31.1 percent from three, and 85.4 percent from the free throw line.

Howard, on the other hand, averages 15.3 points, six rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.1 steals on 45.4 percent shooting, 34 percent from three, and 77.6 percent from the free throw line.

Butler averages more points, more assists, more steals, and shoots better from the free throw line. Howard has the better field goal percentage and three-point percentage.

Both Howard and Butler tie in terms of the number of rebounds per game.

Now, this year: How about the comparison between the two?

Butler: 16.9 points per game, 6.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.4 steals, on 42.2 percent shooting, 26.3 percent from three, and 87.7 percent from the free throw line.

Howard : 12.5 points per game, 3.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, .7 steals, on 40.1 percent shooting, 26.7 percent from three, and 79 percent from the free throw line.

Butler wins on points, rebounds, assists, steals, shooting percentage, and free throw percentage.

Howard barely beats Butler in three-point percentage.

The Wizards are struggling; no one can deny that. Butler has always been the third option with the Wizards. With Arenas suspended, he was bumped up to the second option.

Yet, even as a third option, Butler has been a capable scorer. Over the past three seasons, he has averaged 19.1 points, 20.3 points, and 20.8 points, respectively.

Howard, like Butler, has been the second option for the Mavericks. In the past three years Howard has average 18.9 points, 19.9 points, and 18 points. 

Butler, even as the third option, was capable of getting 20 a night twice in the past three years, whereas Howard, as the second option, was able to make it to that point once.

Defensively, there's really no comparison; Butler is the far superior defender. Howard is an average defender at best.

With the immaturity of Howard and being the inferior player to Butler, the trade makes absolutely no sense for the Wizards.

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