CSN is running a bracket to determine the best player in Wizards/Bullets franchise history. There are 16 players in a four-round tournament. The first round will be voted on by fans, while the rest will be determined by our analysts. The winner will be revealed during an hour-long special called 'Best of the Best' on Friday, July 14 at 7:00 p.m. on CSN.
Here is today's matchup...
No. 2 ELVIN HAYES vs. No. 15 CARON BUTLER
Years with franchise: 9
Stats: 21.3 ppg, 12.7 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.1 spg, 2.4 bpg, 45.8 FG%
Accolades: Hall of Famer, NBA champion, 8-time All-Star, 6-time All-NBA, 2-time All-Defense
Summary: The Bullets acquired Hayes in a one-for-one deal that sent small forward Jack Marin to the Houston Rockets in 1972. Marin was a two-time All-Star, but Hayes was in the prime of a Hall of Fame career. Alongside fellow Hall of Famer Wes Unseld, Hayes and the Bullets went on to make the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons. They made the NBA Finals three times and won the franchise's only championship in 1978.
Hayes was one of the most feared big men in the NBA in the late 1960s and through the 1970s. He was known for his rebounding (12.7 rpg with Bullets) and rim protection (2.4 bpg), but could also score. He led the league in scoring as a rookie with the San Diego Rockets, but in Washington didn't need to carry as heavy a load.
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Years with franchise: 5
Stats: 19.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.8 spg, 0.3 bpg, 45.3 FG%
Accolades: 2-time All-Star, All-NBA, All-Rookie
Summary: Butler played for nine different teams across 14 NBA seasons, but he had his best years in Washington starring alongside Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison. The Wizards acquired Butler in one of the best trades in franchise history, a 2005 deal that sent Kwame Brown and Chucky Atkins to the L.A. Lakers. The 10th overall pick in 2002, Butler was a young and inconsisent player through his first three seasons with the Heat and Lakers, but once he joined the Wizards he quickly found his way and emerged as one of the best small forwards in basketball.
Butler could do a little bit of everything. He was a legitimate wing scorer (19 ppg with Wizards) who could stretch the floor to three-point range. He grabbed 6.6 rebounds and dished 3.5 assists per game in Washington. And twice he averaged over two steals per game. The Wizards made the playoffs three straight years with Butler in their lineup. With an inspirational story and famous habit for chewing straws, Butler was a fan favorite during his years in Washington.