Odds & Ends: Butler, Woodson, LeBron

Last week, Caron Butler seemed to vent a little frustration about his role in Milwaukee after he was removed from the starting lineup recently in favor of giving more minutes to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, telling reporters:

“The information I received before coming here is that ‘You’re going to play a lot…And I want to play. I want to be out there to help the situation.”

Since then, Butler appears to have changed tune and reiterated that he wants to stay in Milwaukee, personally taking team owner Herb Kohl aside to let him know how much he values being a part of the Bucks organization:

“I had a moment with Sen. Kohl after the game because I really wanted to talk to him and express to him how excited I am to be here…I want to be here in Milwaukee and I want to be part of the process…This is home to me. I want to help these guys develop” (Gery Woelfel of JournalTimes.com). Woelfel adds that Butler also held similar discussions with GM John Hammond and head coach Larry Drew, whom Butler reportedly has a “healthy rapport with.”

Here’s more from around the Association tonight:

  • Despite a disastrous season and questions of Carmelo Anthony‘s long-term future in New York as the Knicks continue to struggle, head coach Mike Woodson doesn’t think Anthony would request a trade by the February deadline: “Melo I think is on board. I know he’s on board…He’s going to be there to the bitter end if it’s a bitter end. But right now he’s going to be there. I trust he’s going to stay there. we got to make sure everybody else is on board’’ (Marc Berman of the New York Post).
  • Heat superstar LeBron James thinks it’s too early to say whether or not he’ll play when Team USA participates in the 2016 Olympics: “I don’t know where I stand for 2016…Obviously, if I’m healthy in 2016 that summer, if I can get to leading our country by playing, then that would be great to be a part of that…But I can’t commit to it right now” (Charlie McCarthy of FOX Sports Florida).
  • Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times thinks the Bulls may be better off without Luol Deng and explains why the reverse isn’t necessarily true. Cowley thinks Deng would prioritize a shot at a title rather than playing tutor on a young Cavaliers team, and that head coach Mike Brown has already shown signs of not knowing how to use the 28-year-old forward.
  • Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press thinks of Dwight Howard‘s snub from starting the All-Star game this year as proof of how much damage he’s done to his reputation over the last few years and that there’s rebuilding to be done (Twitter link).
  • According to Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee, the Kings have finalized a deal to buy Downtown Plaza from JMA, a San Francisco-based firm that had purchased the mall back in 2012. The Kings and the city of Sacramento plan to use the site to construct a new $448MM arena.
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