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Report: Clippers owner vetoed Butler for Ariza trade

Feb 25, 2013, 3:06 PM EDT

Caron Butler AP

The Los Angeles Clippers were looking ahead to the playoffs and thought they could use a perimeter player with length and a defensive mindset.

So they set up a deal with the Washington Wizards that would have swapped Caron Butler for Trevor Ariza, according to David Aldridge at But the deal got shot down at the highest levels.

L.A. and Washington had a done deal Wednesday night that would have sent forward Trevor Ariza to the Clippers in exchange for Caron Butler, giving L.A. a long, defensive-oriented body to throw at the likes of Kevin Durant in the playoffs. (Butler, who still has an offseason home in the D.C. area, and who was loved by the locals, didn’t have a problem returning to a non-Arenas Wizards locker room. He’d have been welcomed back as a much-needed offensive option, according to sources.)

But sources indicated that Clippers owner Donald Sterling nixed the deal Thursday morning, not wanting to gamble on the team’s chemistry being affected in any way down the stretch.

Ariza is a better defender than Butler, no doubt. But his impact on Durant would be minimal at best, it takes team defense to slow him down and that is where the Clippers have been inconsistent. All that said, Donald Sterling overruling his basketball people on basketball decisions is not a good thing. Never has been, we just thought the trend had stopped.

This trade doesn’t make a ton of sense to me, at least not from the Wizards perspective. Ben Standig does a great job of pointing all this out at — the Wizards actually spend a little more money to get Butler (that includes next season) when they want to trim salary and keep Martell Webster. Plus this doesn’t solve their issue of a glut at the three.

Would he have been welcomed by the Wizards’ fan base? Absolutely. Would Butler’s addition have made the Wizards a better team? Eh, not sure about that, at least not this season if at all. Ariza can frustrate observers with his erratic play, but he’s formed a decent offense-defense combo with Webster while generating points on his own including 16 and 18 respectively in weekend wins over Denver and Houston.

But apparently it wasn’t Washington that wanted out of the deal.

  1. baymac408 - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Wow ariza on the clippers is a lot more to handle then Caron butler… Bad move Clips.. You better hope you don’t play the WARRIORS WE WILL OWN YOU

  2. davidly - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    As a b-ball ops guy I wouldn’t like it either. But as a disinterested spectator, the owner owns the team, so he can do what he wants. Though I’d prefer they always own up to having done it.

  3. cakemixa - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Clippers gonna clip.

  4. fanofevilempire - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    I was wondering how many times have the Clippers even made the playoffs under Sterling, all of a sudden he is this big expert on chemistry and winning, we will see how much he knows if he pays cp3.

  5. jj871 - Feb 25, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Wait…so the bball ops guys wanted to acquire Ariza because they believe he can actually slow Kevin Durant down and the meme is to blame Sterling for shooting it down?!

    While its obvious Sterling has made many dubious (at best) bball decisions in the past, I can’t really blame him for this one. They actually believe Trevor Ariza is a viable weapon to throw at Durant? LOL

    • skinsfanwill - Feb 26, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      Ariza is a bum. Period. Smartest move Sterling ever made.

    • skinsfanwill - Feb 26, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      The problem isn’t with guarding Durant or needing a 3 point shooter (insert Jamal Crawford here), the problem is getting Blake Griffin to play some defense. That dude doesn’t get any blocks and he plays higher above the rim than anyone is the game. He should be able to average a block a game. All he wants to do is get a highlight. Time for him to get some DEFENSIVE highlights.

  6. dannymac17 - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Honestly, I am okay with this.

    Butler has a few big games for us and he played last post season with a broken hand.

    Just shows how much he wants to win.

  7. cosanostra71 - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    I personally don’t think trading Butler for Ariza would have necessarily made them better, but if you’re a Clippers fan, this has to worry you. Sterling getting involved in anything besides signing paychecks is bad news.

  8. fearthehoody - Feb 25, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    They both stink, but as Clipp fan keep Butler and the Chemistry! Good non move

  9. Chae - Feb 25, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Never thought I’d agree with Sterling, but come on – Ariza is garbage before chemistry even becomes an issue. People always seem to talk about him as if he were still wearing a Lakers jersey. He has terrible shot selection and hasn’t done anything of note. Why trade a veteran leader who can give a bit of scoring off the bench for that?

  10. westcoastredbird - Feb 26, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    I’m sure Donald Sterling consulted their executive of the year David Stern before making that decision! The Chris Paul deal was great thanks Mr. Stern! Check your Swiss bank account it’s in there. Nod Nod; wink wink.

  11. mikeblack16007 - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    Laker fan kill me with this david stern BS what about the Gasol for brown trade, that your ex Gm just gave to you a palyer. and what about the luke walton for session deal. or the Shannomn Brown and Adam morrioson deal for Sasha the clippers deal gave the hornets 3 starters and the number 10 draft pick what could the lakers offwe wqithout a third team.Know you basketball before you speak! Nad it’s nt rumor look it up stern was friends with your owner!

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