From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
The New Orleans Hornets, in a move to shed some payroll after the recent acquisition of Emeka Okafor, have agreed to trade swingman Rasual Butler to the Los Angeles Clippers for a future second-round pick, according to NBA front-office sources.
The trade is expected to be announced later Wednesday.
Butler is scheduled to earn $3.9 million next season. With the Clippers looking for an extra shooter and depth at both shooting guard and small forward, sources said the team was amenable to absorbing the final year of Butler’s contract, which will save New Orleans nearly $8 million when factoring in the luxury-tax implications.
Rasual (does not rhyme with “casual”) Butler gives the Clips some depth at the wing at a relatively low cost — both in dollars and in years. He hit 140 3-pointers last season at a 39% clip, and managed to raise his true shooting percentage from 46% in 2007-08, to 54.1% in 2008-09. He’s a long, rangy defender who will help the Clips mightily at the 3 against the league’s more potent perimeter scorers.
How good a defender is Butler? In 2007-08, his on-court/off-court numbers were among the best in the game at his position. Last season, they weren’t nearly so impressive. Still, by any measure, he represents an enormous upgrade over Al Thornton as a perimeter defender, something the Clippers desperately need given Eric Gordon’s size at the 2, and Blake Griffin’s inexperience at the 4.
More on Butler to come…
UPDATE: According to the Clippers’ release, the Clips gave up a conditional 2nd round pick in 2016 and also received cash in the deal from New Orleans.