RACINE, Wis. (AP) — Caron Butler is expected to provide more than points for a retooled Milwaukee Bucks team that is firmly committed to a young nucleus.
Butler was introduced Thursday as a member of the Bucks at a hometown news conference with family, friend and students at Racine Park High School, where he played.
"We talked about trying to build a championship-caliber team and we're really excited about some of the young pieces we have on our roster," Bucks general manager John Hammond said. "And, we're not going to stray from that. But, also at that time, we talked about needing veteran players that can help us in that process. A veteran player that can mentor, a veteran player that can help young guys. We know Caron can do that.
"But, make no mistake, he's here for a lot more than just that. We need him on the floor. We project him to be our starting small forward, project him to play a lot of minutes for our team, project him to help us win games."
The Bucks acquired the 33-year-old small forward Aug. 29 in a trade with the Phoenix Suns for point guard Ish Smith and center Viacheslav Kravtsov. Butler, who started last season for a Los Angeles Clippers team that won 56 games, was traded to the Suns this summer in a three-way deal that also involved the Bucks.
Butler, a two-time All-Star who has averaged 15. 5 points over his career, averaged 10.4 last season with the Clippers.
"I'm a little emotional, definitely, I always am," said Butler, who teared up several times while speaking. "You all have seen my crying at press conferences. But, this is a different emotion now because this is a dream come true. This is something that I always dreamed about and thought about, but I never thought it would happen."
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