Rasual Butler

Former NBA Player Rasual Butler Killed In Car Crash

Former NBA swingman Rasual Butler and his wife, R&B singer Leah LaBelle, were killed in a single car crash that occurred early on Wednesday morning in Los Angeles, according to a TMZ report.

Per TMZ, Butler lost control of his Range Rover, hit a parking meter, and ran into a wall, flipping the vehicle. The accident occurred around 2:00 am.

Butler, who was 38 years old, was selected by Miami in the second round of the 2002 draft and enjoyed a long NBA career, spending time with the Heat, Hornets, Clippers, Bulls, Raptors, Pacers, Wizards, and Spurs over the course of 13 seasons.

Butler appeared in 809 total regular season NBA games, averaging 7.5 PPG and 2.4 RPG. He also played in 43 postseason contests. While Butler had been out of the NBA since appearing in 46 contests for San Antonio during the 2015/16 campaign, the former La Salle standout participated in Ice Cube‘s BIG3 league in the summer of 2017.

Our condolences go out to Butler’s and LaBelle’s friends and family.

Wolves Waive Rasual Butler, Toure’ Murry

1:50pm: The Wolves confirmed the moves via press release.

1:18pm: The Timberwolves intend to waive Rasual Butler and Toure’ Murry, Chris Haynes of ESPN.com reports. The moves won’t result in any salary remaining on the team’s books, as both player’s deals were non guaranteed. Minnesota’s roster will stand at 15 players once the players are officially released.

Butler, 37, appeared in 46 games last season for the Spurs, and wasn’t a big part of the team’s rotation, averaging just 2.7 PPG and 1.2 RPG in 9.4 minutes per contest. For his career, Butler has played in more than 850 total contests (regular season and postseason), averaging 7.5 PPG and 2.4 RPG with a .362 3PT% during regular-season play.

Murry, 26, appeared in 51 games for the Knicks during the 2013/14 season, but has only played in five NBA regular season games since then, enjoying brief stints in Utah and Washington. His career averages are 2.6 points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 7.0 minutes per outing to accompany a slash line of .433/.417/.610.

Northwest Notes: Faried, Abrines, Lucas, Butler

Kenneth Faried has the inside track to remain the Nuggets’ starting power forward when the season starts, according to Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. Coach Michael Malone wanted to have a competition at that spot, but no one appears to be a serious threat to Faried. Darrell Arthur is still recovering from offseason knee surgery and will be phased in slowly. Denver sometimes uses Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler at power forward, but usually just in short bursts to speed up the game. It’s possible that Malone will decide to start Jusuf Nurkic at center and slide Nikola Jokic over to the four spot, but Dempsey believes the most likely outcome is Faried starting on opening night.

There’s more news from the Northwest Division:

  • The Nuggets may get their own D-League team again, possibly by next season, Dempsey writes in a separate story. Denver last had a direct affiliate in 2009 with the Colorado 14ers, who moved to Texas and hooked up with the Dallas Mavericks.
  • Alex Abrines waited to make the leap to the Thunder until he saw an opportunity for playing time, writes Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman. That chance came when Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City for Golden State and created a huge opening on the wing. OKC has owned Abrines’ rights since 2013, when it took him 32nd in the draft. The 23-year-old shooting guard has been playing in Spain ever since, but now he believes there’s a chance to make an impact with the Thunder. “Once KD left, I think there was a spot at the three position,” Abrines said. “Also I can play the two. I thought I had a chance to come here and grab some minutes. I don’t want to be here and just practice.”
  • Two veterans fighting for spots on the Timberwolves‘ roster, John Lucas III and Rasual Butler, know what to expect from coach Tom Thibodeau because they’ve played for him before, notes Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune. Both players are 37 and have non-guaranteed contracts, but they came into camp with a decent shot to make the team. Minnesota has 17 players in camp, including Nikola Pekovic, who will be kept on the roster but won’t play this season because of injuries. Butler played for Thibodeau in Chicago briefly in 2010/11, and Lucas and Thibodeau teamed up with both the Rockets and Bulls.

Contract Details: Brand, Rockets, Thunder, Pacers

With training camps underway, teams have now officially finalized the contract agreements with various camp invitees that had been reported over the past several weeks, meaning we have plenty of contract details to round up. As usual, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders has been busy reporting those details, updating his salary pages for teams around the NBA.

Because we have so many updates to pass along from Pincus, we’ll divide them up by players who received some guaranteed money from their teams, and those who didn’t. All of the links below point to the Basketball Insiders team salary pages, so be sure to click through for additional information.

Here are the latest salary updates from across the league, via Pincus:

Players receiving guaranteed money:

These players aren’t necessarily assured of regular-season roster spots. In fact, many of them likely received guarantees as an incentive to accept a D-League assignment. Still, for some players, larger guarantees should increase their odds of making 15-man rosters.

  • Thomas Walkup (Bulls): One year, minimum salary. $69.5K guaranteed.
  • Keith Benson (Heat): Two years, minimum salary. $75K guaranteed.
  • Henry Sims (Jazz): One year, minimum salary. $75K guaranteed.
  • Alex Poythress (Pacers): One year, minimum salary. $35,381 guaranteed.
  • Kevin Seraphin (Pacers): Two years, $3.681MM. First year ($1.8MM) guaranteed.
  • Julyan Stone (Pacers): One year, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Gary Payton II (Rockets): Two years, minimum salary. First year ($543,471) guaranteed.
  • Isaiah Taylor (Rockets): Two years, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Kyle Wiltjer (Rockets): Two years, minimum salary. $275K guaranteed.
  • Cat Barber (Sixers): One year, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Elton Brand (Sixers): One year, minimum salary. $1MM guaranteed.
  • Derrick Jones (Suns): Three years, minimum salary. $42.5K guaranteed.
  • Alex Caruso (Thunder): One year, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Kaleb Tarczewski (Thunder): One year, minimum salary. $75K guaranteed.
  • Chris Wright (Thunder): One year, minimum salary. $100K guaranteed.

Players receiving no guaranteed money:

The following players all signed one-year, minimum salary contracts with no guaranteed money. Many of these deals are “summer contracts,” which won’t count against a team’s cap unless the player earns a spot on the 15-man roster.

Timberwolves, Rasual Butler Agree To Deal

The Timberwolves have agreed to add veteran forward Rasual Butler to their training camp roster, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter). It’ll be a non-guaranteed deal for Butler, so it sounds like he’ll have a chance to earn a regular-season roster spot, but is no lock to do so.

Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau revealed on Wednesday that the team brought in Butler “for a couple days,” and intended to make a decision soon on whether to add him to its camp roster. As Thibodeau promised, the Wolves indeed didn’t take long to extend a camp invite to Butler.

Butler, 37, appeared in 46 games last season for the Spurs, and wasn’t a big part of the team’s rotation, averaging just 2.7 PPG and 1.2 RPG in 9.4 minutes per contest. For his career, Butler has played in more than 850 total contests (regular season and postseason), averaging 7.5 PPG and 2.4 RPG with a .362 3PT% during regular-season play.

While Butler may not have a roster spot secured with the Wolves at this point, he’s certainly familiar with this situation. As Charania observes, the former second-round pick has signed camp deals in late September in each of the last three years, with the Pacers, Wizards, and Spurs, respectively — in each case, Butler ended up on his club’s regular-season roster.

The Wolves currently have 15 players on guaranteed contracts, with John Lucas III and Toure’ Murry also in the mix on non-guaranteed deals. However, the team appears to be nearing a buyout agreement with Kevin Garnett, which would open up a 15-man roster spot.

Wolves Notes: Garnett, Pekovic, Extensions, Butler

With training camp set to get underway on Tuesday, the Timberwolves still don’t have a definitive answer on whether or not Kevin Garnett will be back for one more season. As Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune details, Wolves president of basketball operations and head coach Tom Thibodeau said owner Glen Taylor will be involved in that decision.

“Glen and Kevin and his representatives are in discussions,” Thibodeau said. “We’ll keep that private for now, and we’ll see how it unfolds. But, obviously, what Kevin has meant to our league, the organization, he’s earned the right to have those discussions with Glen.”

While the Wolves wait to see whether Garnett will play out his contract or call it a career, let’s round up a few more items out of Minnesota, via Youngblood…

  • Veteran center Nikola Pekovic, who continues to recover from an Achilles issue, is not expected to be ready for training camp, says Thibodeau. “We wanted to get him here, try to give him an opportunity get in shape and get treatment,” Thibodeau said. “We were hopeful he would respond well. There have been some good days, but there have been a lot of setbacks as well. It’s something we’ll monitor going forward.” The Wolves head coach didn’t sound like he’s expecting much from Pekovic going forward, tweets Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune.
  • According to Thibodeau, Minnesota hasn’t talked much to Gorgui Dieng or Shabazz Muhammad about possible rookie-scale contract extensions. However, that could happen before the October 31 deadline, writes Youngblood.
  • The Wolves brought in free agent swingman Rasual Butler “for a couple days,” according to Thibodeau, who says the team will “make a final decision in the next day or so” on whether to add the veteran to its camp roster.

Wolves To Work Out Dorell Wright, Rasual Butler

Dorell Wright and Rasual Butler are among the players invited to a workout the Timberwolves have scheduled next week for veteran free agents, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News in Minneapolis.

Wright, 30, spent most of last season in China before signing with the Heat in mid-April. He didn’t play any regular season games with Miami, but did appear in five playoff contests, averaging 3.2 points and 3.8 minutes per game. The Heat elected not to bring back the 6’9″ small forward after the postseason ended.

The 37-year-old Butler appeared in 46 games for the Spurs last season before being waived in March. The 6’7″ swingman has been with eight franchises in his 14-year NBA career.

And-Ones: Wright, Dunn, Spurs, Grizzlies, Heat

Dorell Wright is back in the U.S. now that his Chinese club’s season is over, and while NBA teams are eyeing him, he’s not rushing to sign, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes. He prefers a multiyear deal rather than one that’s just for the remainder of the season, Kennedy adds.

I have [received interest from NBA teams], but I’ve told my agent that I really don’t want to know anything until something is serious and set in stone,” Wright told Kennedy. “I did that [free agency] waiting game this past summer, getting my hopes up and thinking this could be it, but it didn’t work out. Once something is set in stone and serious, I’ll know about it. Right now, I’m just working until I get that call.

See more from around basketball:

  • Providence point guard Kris Dunn went against his father’s insistence that he enter the draft last year, and the extra year at college has helped him expand his game and his character, as Bleacher Report’s Jason King examines. He’s risen from a projected mid-first-rounder to No. 5 in the rankings that Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and Chad Ford of ESPN.com compile. “I want to do more than just go to the NBA,” Dunn said. “I want to play in the NBA. I want to be prepared when I get there, instead of sitting at the end of the bench or going to the D-League. I needed more time to grow.”
  • The Spurs waited to cut Rasual Butler, a move required for the team to sign Kevin Martin, until Gregg Popovich could inform Butler of his release in person, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports. Popovich returned today from an absence related to a family medical issue that took him away from the team for the past two games. San Antonio’s policy is to have either Popovich or GM R.C. Buford tell a player face-to-face when he’s being waived, according to Charania.
  • Briante Weber is poised to sign with the Grizzlies if the NBA gives them a 16th roster spot, but his agent, Bill Neff, still holds the Heat in high regard, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. The first-year pro has been with the Heat’s D-League affiliate this season and spent a brief time on the NBA roster in the preseason. “We love the Heat,” Neff said. “I’m still betting on them. We love the Heat. I couldn’t have picked a better team; they have been wonderful. I do think there is a chance to go back.”

Spurs Waive Rasual Butler

The Spurs are have waived Rasual Butler in a move that accomodates their deal with Kevin Martin, as league sources told Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), shortly before the team officially announced Butler’s waiver, via press release. San Antonio was carrying 15 players, so it had to offload someone to sign Martin. Butler has a minimum-salary contract that bears a cap hit of $947,276, but it costs San Antonio $1,420,914 in additional projected tax penalties.

That’ll stick on San Antonio’s books if he clears waivers, though an outside chance exists that the Blazers would have interest in claiming him to reach the salary floor. It would be cheaper for Portland to grab Butler than it would be for them to claim Gary Neal, who’s also reportedly hitting waivers. However, neither Neal nor Butler is eligible to take part in the postseason for any new team they might join this season, since March 1st was the last day for players to hit waivers and retain playoff-eligibility.

Butler, 36, played 9.4 minutes per game in 46 appearances for the Spurs this season despite having signed only a non-guaranteed deal in the offseason. It’s the third year in a row that Butler made a regular season roster with a team he joined on a non-guaranteed contract for the minimum salary. He scored a season-high 12 points in 26 minutes against the Suns on February 21st, though his average of 2.7 points per game ties a career low, and he shot just 30.6% from 3-point territory, well beneath his career 36.2% mark. The Spurs agonized over whether to drop Butler or Matt Bonner, as Charania writes in his full story.

Western Notes: Anderson, Gentry, Morris, Butler

The Pelicans are unlikely to trade Ryan Anderson this season, according to coach Alvin Gentry, as John Reid of The Times Picayune writes. Reid reiterates his earlier report that Anderson’s name was involved in preliminary talks with the Suns about a Markieff Morris trade, though nothing has materialized on that front, Reid says.

”Everyone knows that Ryan’s name is going to be out there,” Gentry said. ”We have made not one call about trading Ryan, nor will we. So those are the kind of things that’s going to happen that people are going to inquire about. Once you’ve been in the league for a couple of years, everyone knows that’s part of it.”  

New Orleans has listened to teams that have inquired about Anderson, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported last month, so while the Pelicans might not be making calls, it seems they’ve at least taken them. In any case, see more from New Orleans amid the latest from the Western Conference:

  • Any trade the Pelicans make will come via mutual consent between Gentry and GM Dell Demps, Gentry also said, as Reid notes in the same post.
  • Suns GM Ryan McDonough thinks the talent on his roster is better than the team’s record indicates, though he feels some change is necessary, as he said Wednesday on the “Burns and Gambo” show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM and as Adam Green of ArizonaSports.com transcribes. McDonough said a Morris trade wasn’t necessarily close but otherwise gave few hints in that regard. “Look, we’re not going to sit here and put our head in the sand and act like everything’s OK and we’re doing everything fine,” McDonough said. “We obviously need to make some changes and we’ll explore those things as aggressively as we usually do.”
  • Doc Rivers confirmed Wednesday that the Clippers will keep Luc Mbah a Moute and his non-guaranteed contract on the roster past the close of business today, the last day NBA teams have to waive players without guaranteed salary for this season before it becomes guaranteed, notes Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). Rivers said a few weeks ago that it was “probably safe” to assume the team would keep Mbah a Moute for the rest of the season. The 29-year-old, who’s making the minimum salary, has been in the Clippers starting lineup since late November.
  • Jabari Young of the San Antonio News-Express gets the feeling that the Spurs will keep Rasual Butler‘s non-guaranteed contract past today, thus guaranteeing his minimum salary (Twitter link).