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Caron Butler says he’s willing to mentor Michael Beasley

Aug 22, 2013, 10:02 PM EDT

Caron Butler Getty Images

It’s highly unlikely that Michael Beasley will still be a member of the Phoenix Suns by the time training camps open at the end of September. But if he is still on the roster, the team’s newest veteran would be happy to take a crack at steering him in the right direction.

Caron Butler came to the Suns as part of the deal that sent Jared Dudley to the Clippers in exchange for Eric Bledsoe, a rising young talent still on his rookie contract who has all kinds of potential.

Butler was needed not for his talent on this rebuilding Suns team, but for his contract number in order to make the three-way deal that also netted the Clips J.J. Redick work from a salary standpoint.

Butler knows the situation in Phoenix — he may play plenty, and the team will try to win with the talent in place. But more important to the Suns at this point is the development of younger talent for the future, and Butler is more than happy to help in that regard.

From Jeff Caplan of NBA.com:

“He’s a guy that had an unbelievable collegiate career, who came into the NBA as a top-two pick, so the talent is there, it hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s like clay, it just needs to be molded right. Somebody needs to be around him, talking to him and telling him the right things and building him up and keeping nothing but positive energy around him and moving him forward instead of pulling him back.”

Butler, a raging success story born out of an unsavory childhood, arrested numerous times before he turned 15, said if Beasley remains with the team, and if the 6-foot-10, 235-pounder is willing, he will stick by the kid’s side, mentor him, attempt to reach him. At this point, save him from himself.

“I would stay in his ear, I would definitely stay in his ear,” Butler said. “I would continue to motivate him and I would challenge him night-in and night-out, in practice, just whatever I can do to make him better I would do as a human being, and obviously as a basketball player because I think he has tremendous upside still. He’s just 24 years old.”

Butler has been in the league 11 years, and given his upbringing, he could definitely be of value where Beasley is concerned.

More likely, however, is that Butler won’t get that chance.

The Suns haven’t made a sound since Beasley’s most recent arrest, and aren’t likely to until they announce they’re waiving him at some point before September 1. That’s the deadline for the team to be able to use the stretch provision to minimize the hit from a payroll and potentially a salary cap standpoint, but given the team’s current financial situation, they could wait even longer and just absorb the hit over the next two seasons.

It’s a positive that Butler is willing to take on this role during his time with the Suns. It just isn’t very likely that Beasley will be around long enough for him to have to do so.

  1. rickyspanish - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Oh Beasley, you should consider getting your act together. He’s still young, he could have a decent career if he can turn it around.

    • spthegr8 - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      He’d better be willing too throw up on the bag cuz Beasley ain’t gonna let him smoke for free!!

  2. phaden27 - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Tips on smoke rings maybe.

  3. legend30 - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    I know it’s unlikely the Suns buyout Caron’s contract, but I wish he was playing for a contender. Got a chance to meet with him really cool dude. Good luck this season, Caron!

  4. adamsjohn714 - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    Can Caron Butler teach someone a trade? Like welding, for instance. Beasley might try his hand at that.

  5. 00maltliquor - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    Give it up Caron, he’s a lost cause.

    Nah, just kidding. Sort of. If anyone can mentor and connect with SuperCoolBeas it’s him.

    Caron has been through it and has come out a better man and a model citizen. He used to sell dope before he was even in his teens and spent a good deal of time in a Juvenile Detention System as a teenager. Beas’ better listen up and grow up.

  6. unsportsmenmic - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    Reblogged this on UnSportsMenMic and commented:
    Still Classy Butler, because Beasley needs all the help he can get.

  7. xLith - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Why does Butler always have that “Who just farted?” look about him?

    • sellahh - Aug 26, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      Top 10 funniest comments right here, thanks!

      • imakcds - Aug 26, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        looks like he has a weak eye muscle and the eyeballs are not aligned. Probably has double vision. I know from experience, crashed a bike.

  8. skinsfanwill - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    The problem is Caron has been there and doesn’t want to go back. sorry to say, but Beas has to lose something before he may realize. He hasn’t been there yet. Experience is the best teacher. Beas has yet to experience it.

  9. mickdamill - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    I really like this coming from Caron, it shows his maturity and willingness to step up as a veteran leader which is much needed in the Suns organization right now.

    I find this a little embarassing for Beasley that Caron is publicly coming out and saying this, it may have been better for this conversation to have taken place behind the scenes. Either way Beasley is an idiot and does deserve to be put on blast and should be dropped.

  10. bougin89 - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    I thought the Suns really overpaid for Beasley when they first signed him. I still have that same thought.

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