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Can The Butler Do It?

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The past two weeks have felt like a mini free-agency period for the NBA's elites.

As one role player after another gets bought out of their contracts, the top teams in the league have weighed their options. 

Guys like Danny Granger, Glen Davis, Jimmer Fredette, Beno Udrih, Metta World Peace and now Caron Butler have parted ways with a bottom-dweller and have become enticing potential additions for contenders.

And as of Friday morning, it appears as though the Thunder has its man.

RELATED STORY: Butler Chooses Thunder

Butler is a 12-year veteran who has played for six different organizations. He won an NBA title in 2011 with the Dallas Mavericks and brings 47 games of postseason experience to the table.  (To compare, Russell Westbrook has only played in 45).

Now nothing can be official until Butler clears waivers on Saturday afternoon, but reports indicate that he intends to sign with Oklahoma City at that time.

The former UConn Husky averaged 11 points and 4.6 rebounds for the lowly Bucks this season, only playing in 34 games due to injuries. But in his two most recent outings, he proved he's still got plenty in the tank.

Butler scored 21 points and grabbed seven boards on Feb. 18 against the Magic, then finished with 17 and four against the Nuggets on Feb. 20.

The 33-year-old is a career 34 percent shooter from 3-point range and holds a reputation for his hard-nosed defense. He's a no-nonsense type guy that should fit well in the Thunder locker room.

Butler is a natural small forward, but has the strength and experience to guard bigger players and allow the Thunder to go small; something Scott Brooks does regularly.  No one should expect Butler to be the 15-20 points-per-game scorer he was at the height of his career, but it's very reasonable to expect him to crack the rotation and make an immediate impact.

The Thunder has lost three straight home games for the first time since 2009 and allowed 114 points per game in those losses.

In Caron Butler, Oklahoma City may have just found what it was looking for. 

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