Butler Still a Target

NBA trade deadline Thursday at 3 p.m.

As Thursday's deadline looms, NBA trade talks centers around teams wanting to shed salary in this struggling economy when the cap is predicted to shrink before next season. Teams looking for a playoff boost are preying upon these victims.

The Wizards are one of such perceived marks, and Caron Butler continues to be a prime target. Wiz GM Ernie Grunfeld is all ears, but is unlikely to pull the trigger on a major move.

National media outlets insist Butler is the Wizards' only asset. Age and contract make Antawn Jamison undesirable. Question marks make Gilbert Arenas untouchable. Young players, by themselves, would only bring a minimal amount of cap space in return.

The only excuse for sacrificing youth would be as a part of a package to entice a team to take on the bad contract of Mike James or Etan Thomas, who has a helluva trade kicker. And that still won't be enough for a championship hopeful.

But Abe Pollin loves two things, his money and the community. It's because of the former why many assume that that the Wizards are doomed if they don't make a cost-cutting move.

However, it's because of the latter why a trade involving either Butler or Jamison is highly unlikely. Granpa Abe has made sacrifices for the District and would do the same for two he cherishes as upstanding members.

There isn't a lot of wiggle room for Grunfeld, but count on Tuff Juice and Gentleman Jamison being in D.C. next year.

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