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Caron Butler’s agent says the Mavs want a long-term deal

Jul 27, 2011, 6:00 PM EDT

Caron Butler

There are a couple things that could make Dallas better next season — whenever that is — than the team that just got to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy over their heads.

One is the return of Caron Butler from knee surgery. Do you know what the best starting five-man unit in the entire NBA was last season? It was the Dallas starting five before Butler went down for the season (Jason Kidd, DeShawn Stevenson, Dirk Nowitzki, and Tyson Chandler), their plus/minus was the best in the league.

While there will be some roster changes next season, Butler wants to come back and be part of the team making another run. His agent told ESPN Dallas the Mavs want Butler back long term.

“After the championship was over,” (Butler’s agent Raymond) Brothers said, “Donnie (Nelson, Mavs GM) texted me and told me he wanted Caron to be part of the team long term…

“His preference is to stay with Dallas and help them compete for a championship,” Brothers said. “We are optimistic and hopeful that we’ll come to an agreement that works for both sides.”

Butler is in Chicago working with NBA fitness guru Tim Grover to get the strength back in his leg. There will be some other teams calling about Butler, but if there is mutual interest Dallas would seem the likely landing spot. That said Nelson can’t comment on this and can’t talk to Brothers during the lockout. Also, we have no idea what Dallas will be able to offer under the new labor agreement.

Still, he shouldn’t sell is Dallas area home yet. He’ll likely be using it again.

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