4:43pm: The Bucks have officially waived Butler, the team announced. There’s no mention of a buyout arrangement in the statement, but presumably that’s what took place. He’s set to become a free agent on Saturday.
3:56pm: A source tells Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel that Butler’s parting of ways with the Bucks is official, and Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com hears he’ll be placed on waivers today (Twitter links). Still, there’s been no official announcement from the team.
8:01am: Caron Butler and the Bucks have reached agreement on a buyout, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who casts the Thunder and Heat as the favorites to sign the small forward once he clears waivers. The Bulls and Spurs are also in the running, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter links). Butler will hit waivers once Milwaukee makes the move official, and presumably will become a free agent 48 hours later.
The Heat appeared to be the front runners for their former lottery pick when news broke earlier this week that Butler and the Bucks were talking about a buyout, but it appears they have strong competition from Oklahoma City. The Spurs have also previously been linked to Butler, but the Bulls appear to be a newcomer to the pursuit.
The 33-year-old Butler was in trade chatter leading up to the deadline, and while one report indicated the Bucks would be reluctant to give up the Wisconsin native, another suggested the team was ready to part ways, either via trade or buyout. Milwaukee acquired Butler in a trade with the Suns in the offseason, though he never played for Phoenix, which traded for him earlier in the summer in a deal with the Clippers. Butler’s expiring contract calls for him to make $8MM this season, though it’s unclear how much of that the Raymond Brothers client is giving up in the buyout.