Racine Journal Times writer Gery Woelfel is reporting the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks are in trade talks centering around sending veteran small forward and new Sun Caron Butler to Wisconsin.

I wrote three weeks ago about Butler's role on the Suns and spelled out the reason why it might be a good idea for the Suns to keep him in Phoenix for the entire season. Is Dave's reverse-foresight spreading throughout the Bright Side staff? I guess we'll find out.

As of yet, Woelfel is the only person I've seen to report this news. He claims multiple sources, yet his report has not been confirmed by any other media members.

The Bucks do seem set on fighting for a playoff berth this season, and a veteran like Butler could help them do so. Summer free agent acquisition an presumed starter Carlos Delfino has a broken bone in his foot and might not be ready for the start of the season, according to Woelfel.

Butler was also born in Racine (part of the Milwaukee metro area) and was a Bucks fan growing up, so there could be motivation from both the Bucks and Butler to make this deal happen.

But what about the Suns? What might motivate them to do this deal? As of yet, Woelfel has not given any details about any other parts that might be involved in this deal (be it player or draft pick). The Bucks are currently about $7 million below the cap, so they need only send back a smaller contract to make the deal work under the cap.

I'll leave it to you Bright Siders to speculate which players might be involved. But first, do you believe there is any truth to this rumor?

*UPDATE*

Butler himself either knows something we don't or he saw Woelfel's report. Either way, this thing might have some legs after all.

Much respect for the organization of the Phx Suns#staytuned

— Caron Butler (@realtuffjuice) August 29, 2013

**UPDATE 2**

ESPN's Marc Stein corroborated the report.

Source w/knowledge of talks confirms @GeryWoelfel report that Bucks trying to trade for Wisconsin native Caron Butler. Deal "still in works"

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 29, 2013

***Update 3***

Stein says it's going down. Just waiting to get the details sorted out.

One source close to talks tells ESPN that Caron Butler has been informed that he will indeed wind up with Bucks. Teams hashing out details

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 29, 2013

****Update 4****

Coro finally gives us the details.

A #Suns trade of Caron Butler to the Bucks for Ish Smith & Slava Kravtsov (no pick) should be finalized Thursday. Suns add $5.65M cap space.

— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) August 29, 2013

Racine Journal Times writer Gery Woelfel is reporting the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks are in trade talks centering around sending veteran small forward and new Sun Caron Butler to Wisconsin.

I wrote three weeks ago about Butler's role on the Suns and spelled out the reason why it might be a good idea for the Suns to keep him in Phoenix for the entire season. Is Dave's reverse-foresight spreading throughout the Bright Side staff? I guess we'll find out.

As of yet, Woelfel is the only person I've seen to report this news. He claims multiple sources, yet his report has not been confirmed by any other media members.

The Bucks do seem set on fighting for a playoff berth this season, and a veteran like Butler could help them do so. Summer free agent acquisition an presumed starter Carlos Delfino has a broken bone in his foot and might not be ready for the start of the season, according to Woelfel.

Butler was also born in Racine (part of the Milwaukee metro area) and was a Bucks fan growing up, so there could be motivation from both the Bucks and Butler to make this deal happen.

But what about the Suns? What might motivate them to do this deal? As of yet, Woelfel has not given any details about any other parts that might be involved in this deal (be it player or draft pick). The Bucks are currently about $7 million below the cap, so they need only send back a smaller contract to make the deal work under the cap.

I'll leave it to you Bright Siders to speculate which players might be involved. But first, do you believe there is any truth to this rumor?

*UPDATE*

Butler himself either knows something we don't or he saw Woelfel's report. Either way, this thing might have some legs after all.

Much respect for the organization of the Phx Suns#staytuned

— Caron Butler (@realtuffjuice) August 29, 2013

**UPDATE 2**

ESPN's Marc Stein corroborated the report.

Source w/knowledge of talks confirms @GeryWoelfel report that Bucks trying to trade for Wisconsin native Caron Butler. Deal "still in works"

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 29, 2013

***Update 3***

Stein says it's going down. Just waiting to get the details sorted out.

One source close to talks tells ESPN that Caron Butler has been informed that he will indeed wind up with Bucks. Teams hashing out details

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 29, 2013

****Update 4****

Coro finally gives us the details.

A #Suns trade of Caron Butler to the Bucks for Ish Smith & Slava Kravtsov (no pick) should be finalized Thursday. Suns add $5.65M cap space.

— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) August 29, 2013

More from Bright Side Of The Sun:

Unless you live under a rock, you either watch Breaking Bad or know someone who does. Millions tune in to AMC every Sunday night to witness new episodes of what many have deemed to be one of the greatest television shows of all-time. Breaking Bad is the story of Walter White's incredible transformation from a straight-laced family man to a menacing drug kingpin. If you have yet to see the show, do yourself a favor and start from the beginning. Today.

Breaking Bad is a remarkable examination of the darkness in a man's character and what can evoke it. In Walter White's case, cancer is his catalyst, family is his excuse, and chemistry is his method (pun absolutely intended). In a scene from the show's pilot episode, Walter White describes chemistry as the study of change, a constant cycle of "growth, then decay, then transformation."

This concept of "growth, decay, and transformation" is seen on a regular basis in the NBA. In the last decade, the Phoenix Suns have been a great example of this process: growth from 2003-07, decay from 2010-13, then transformation from 2013-? The team's front office seems to have learned from the decay of the 2010-13 seasons that a full-on rebuild, a complete transformation was necessary. They learned their lesson: "no more half-measures." The Suns hope their "full-measure" transformation leads to more growth instead of further decay. Will the Suns prove to be on-court Heisenbergs in the future? Only time will tell.

----------

Special thanks to Richard Parker for his exceptional contribution above.  Yes, everything above this is Richard, not me.

In addition to touching on this analogy Kris and I discuss Michael Beasley and Channing Frye with emphasis on the team's handling of their respective situations and the perception of their character.

Special thanks to Kris for his exceptional job doing our show prep.  Yes, I have tricked Kris into doing my show prep.

----------

Phoenix Suns Podcast Episode 35

The jury is out on whether Eric Bledsoe is a future NBA star. Indeed, the jury is out on whether Bledsoe is even a future NBA starter.

But the jury has affirmed the charge that Eric Bledsoe is better than most people thought when he was drafted #18 overall in 2010. Bledsoe, a high school point guard, spent a single season at Kentucky where he was so good that he started at SG in the back court next to eventual #1 overall pick PG John Wall.

NBA.com's Sekou Smith did a re-draft of 2010, and found that Eric Bledsoe has turned out to be the 9th best overall player from that draft ahead of Greivis Vasquez, Evan Turner and Ed Davis. (Suns fave Avery Bradley was re-drafted #6 overall, by the way)

Smith's commentary:

John Calipari was operating with an absolute embarrassment of point guard riches with Wall and Bledsoe on the roster at Kentucky together. Bledsoe had limited opportunities in 38 starts in three seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers. Traded to Phoenix this summer, he should thrive now that he won't be overshadowed by Chris Paul.

There is no shame in failing to win the starting PG spot over the bigger and clearly more talented John Wall at Kentucky. Wall may not have delivered a transcendent NBA career yet, but he has played well enough to earn a max $80 million contract extension last month. Only 22, Wall can clearly become much better than his max contract pays.

While Wall started for a putrid Bullets Wizards team in 2010, Bledsoe (21) joined a young Clippers team that trotted Blake Griffin (21), Eric Gordon (22), DeAndre Jordan (22) and Al-Farouq Aminu (20). But he was blocked at PG by aging, overpaid Baron Davis and later a late-career overpaid Mo Williams. Still, Bledsoe scratched out 25 starts in his 76 games and put up 6.7 points and 3.6 assists in 22 minutes as a rookie.

*The Clippers were so excited with their young talent that season that they deigned to send their 2011 unprotected #1 pick to Cleveland in order to dump half a season of Davis' salary. That pick became Kyrie Irving, the best draft pick Cleveland has had since LeBron James.

But Bledsoe's future hit a thick wall in the summer of 2011, when the Clippers acquired All-Star and All-NBA PG Chris Paul, in exchange for Eric Gordon and others. With Paul in the fold, Bledsoe would never get another chance to play more than spot minutes. Indeed, behind Paul he got only 11 minutes per game in 2011-12 (playing 40 of 66 games) and 20 minutes per game in 2012-13 (playing 81 of 82 games).

Yet somehow, Bledsoe still proved to be a darn good player and has the respect of media, scouts, coaches and fellow NBA players alike.

Statistically, Bledsoe has not proven to be better than his draft position in the 2010 NBA Draft. He is 18th in Win Shares, 17th in Win Shares per 48 minutes (for players with 800+ NBA minutes over 3 seasons), 18th in minutes per game, 16th in points, 18th in rebounds. But he has been great in steals, blocks and is 4th in assists among those guys.

How does he rank 9th in Sekou Smith's re-draft? Potential. The ranking is clearly not based on actual results, since each young player's opportunities vary. Bledsoe has been stuck behind highly paid PGs since he entered the league: Baron Davis, Mo Williams, Chris Paul.

Now he only has Goran Dragic in his way in Phoenix, and all the minutes he can handle.

Let's see how that potential plays out.

Re-drafting the 2011 Draft (Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris)

It's only been two seasons, but just for grins I thought I'd do my own re-draft of 2011 to see where the Mo Bros would rate at this point.

I am ranking these guys subjectively. Only partially based on actual production, this ranking is my wholly impartial/partial opinion of NBA value of the guys taken in the 2011 NBA Draft.

  1. Kyrie Irving (was #1)
  2. Jonas Valenciunas (5) - totally based on potential here
  3. Kawhi Leonard (15)
  4. Kenneth Faried (22)
  5. Chandler Parsons (38)
  6. Klay Thompson (11)
  7. Nikola Vucevic (16)
  8. Tristan Thompson (4)
  9. Kemba Walker (9)
  10. Enes Kanter (3)
  11. Tobias Harris (19)
  12. Markieff Morris (13)
  13. Jimmy Butler (30)
  14. Reggie Jackson (24)
  15. Iman Shumpert (17)
  16. Brandon Knight (8)
  17. Marcus Morris (14)
  18. Derrick Williams (2)
  19. Isaiah Thomas (60)
  20. Alec Burks (12)
  21. Lavoy Allen (50)
  22. Jan Vesely (6)
  23. Kyle Singler (33)
  24. Chris Singleton (18)
  25. Marshon Brooks (25)
  26. Bismack Biyombo (7)
  27. John Leuer (40)
  28. Josh Harrelson (45)
  29. Jimmer Fredette (10)
  30. Jordan Hamilton (36)

That's how I'd re-do the 2011 Draft anyway. Shows that a re-draft doesn't really move the needle a lot on the Mo Bros.

More from Bright Side Of The Sun:

Goran Dragic has been having quite a busy offseason. Between marrying his long-time girlfriend and leading his national team in the European Championship, any spare time he's had has been devoted to honing his basketball skills against the likes of an axe and flaming sword-wielding barbarian.

Meanwhile, his NBA team has arguably been even busier. In the last few months, the Suns have completely retooled their front office, drafted two first round picks that figure to be significant parts of their future, completed two major trades to continue stockpiling assets, nearly became NBA (Summer League) champions, and introduced a brand new set of team uniforms. The team's moves this summer has fans feeling largely positive vibes for the first time in a while, and that excitement has seemingly spread all the way to Slovenia to infect Dragic. In a recent interview with Matt Petersen of Suns.com, he discussed his feelings and support for the team's offseason moves:

"I’m really excited with what they’re doing," Dragic said. "I talked with [Suns General Manager] Ryan [McDonough]and [Head Coach] Jeff [Hornacek] a couple of times. They told me what they're doing and how they want to do things. I think it's awesome."

"When I was a kid and I was watching the games, they were talking about those legends and about NBA history, so I know that Jeff was a great player," Dragic said. "The most recognized thing about Jeff was when he was at the free-throw line and he would touch his face before taking his free throw. He was one of the best shooters in the NBA. I have a great opportunity to learn a lot from him. He was a point guard, too. So I’m going to try to get as much information as I can from him to be a better player."

One of the most exciting developments of the Suns' summer has been the acquisition of Eric Bledsoe from the Los Angeles Clippers. The dynamic 23 year old guard will star alongside Dragic in a two-headed monster of a starting back-court that some fans have dubbed "DragonBlade." At the end of the 2012-13 season, Dragic proclaimed that the team's most important need for the upcoming season was "another playmaker who can pass the ball, set up the offense along with him on the floor." Enter Bledsoe.

"He’s a mini-Lebron James," Dragic said of Bledsoe. "He’s got that big strength so when he's in the open court, he’s unstoppable. Like a lot of fans know, I like to play fast basketball. When I get the ball to the other guy, he’s going to run. We’re going to score a lot of points."

Both Dragic and Bledsoe are fast, athletic, and dynamic guards that thrive in the open floor. Last season, Dragic took 44% of his shot attempts in the first ten seconds of the shot clock and shot .542 eFG% on those attempts, while Bledsoe attempted 45% of his shots in the first ten seconds, shooting .506 eFG%. This essentially reveals that nearly half of both players' shot attempts in the 2012-13 season were in transition (or semi-transition), which is when the highest efficiency shots are taken. Moreover, both guys are ball-hawks and are quite adept at playing the passing lanes to create turnovers. Among guards with at least 800 minutes played last season, Bledsoe was third in the league in Steal Percentage, while Dragic was among the top 20.

Given Jeff Hornacek's stated desire to emphasize high percentage shot-selection and the importance of scoring in the first eight seconds of the shot clock, it's easy to see why the Suns will be eager to push the pace with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe leading the way.

When asked by Matt Petersen about his goals for the near future, Dragic said:

"Right now, my goal is to be healthy, to not have injuries in the European championship. When I’m done with that, [I'll] try to play as hard as possible and improve a lot of things. Personally, I’d like to upgrade from how we did last season to this season. I think we have a better team this year. I’m hoping we’re going to fight for the playoffs."

Many might scoff at the notion of Dragic hoping to fight for the playoffs with the current iteration of the Phoenix Suns, but this is exactly what should be expected from a player of his attitude. Fans know how much winning means to Dragic - his fiery play and consistent effort on the court are perhaps his most endearing qualities. Until the Suns are statistically disqualified for the playoffs, you can bet Goran will continue to set that bar as his goal for the team. Never change, Gogi.

Let's hope Goran returns to Phoenix next month after a successful stint as the leader of the Slovenian basketball team. Furthermore, let's hope he begins to form a chemistry with his new back-court partner that can build on the excitement of potential.

More from Bright Side Of The Sun:

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