SACRAMENTO - Veteran leadership is difficult to find in the NBA. Last season, the Sacramento Kings were mired in chaos and relied heavily upon 36-year-old Caron Butler as the stabilizing voice of the players.
According to a published report by The Vertical, Butler has decided that one season in Sacramento wasn’t enough and that he will opt in to his $1.55 million player option for the coming year. The former All-Star forward had until June 22 to either exercise his option or become an unrestricted free agent.
Butler, a 14-year NBA veteran played sparingly for the Kings last season, logging just 176 minutes over 17 games under George Karl.
He was clear throughout the year that he was there to play, not just provide leadership in the locker room, but he was seldom given the chance. There was even a point early in the season when the Kings agreed to find him a new place to play.
Following the 33-win campaign, Butler has had plenty of opportunities to speak on the dysfunction of the Kings.
“You try and put a band-aid on a situation,” Butler told First take. “You have a superstar player in DeMarcus Cousins and you have an unbelievable coach in George Karl, and they couldn’t co-exist. It’s as simple as that.”
When asked about his thoughts on Cousins, Butler helped provide a little bit of insight on the Kings’ star big man.
“I feel like he’s one of the loyal, honest dudes in the game,” Butler said of Cousins. “He can’t turn the page if the facts of the case weren’t visited and addressed in the right way. I felt like that whole issue for an entire season was ‘let’s just get through.’ There was no stability in that situation, it was tough to honor that voice.”
That voice is gone. George Karl was replaced by Dave Joerger early in the summer, which may have played heavily in Butler’s decision to stick around for one more tour of duty.
With Butler’s return, the Kings roster now stands at nine.