Butler the subject of trade rumors

By: Craig Stouffer

In the midst of increasing adversity both on and off the court for the
Washington Wizards, small forward Caron Butler has been inspired,
playing some of his best and most aggressive basketball of the season
after getting called out last week by head coach Flip Saunders.

"In times right now, you need good, positive news coming out of here so
that’s what I’m trying to do, trying to do something special and
extraordinary in every practice," said Butler, who continues to be the
subject of trade rumors.

The Wizards (10-21) embark on a two-game road trip that will only physically get them away from the troubles that have sprouted up around Verizon Center.

"We are accustomed to dealing with it, and we always find a way to overcome it, and we just need to find a way to get through it," said forward Antawn Jamison.

He and Butler were the team’s biggest stars while Gilbert Arenas missed most of the last two seasons due to injury, but they’ve become their biggest potential trade assets as the franchise becomes increasingly frustrated with the team’s performance and deals with the fallout of the Arenas/Javaris Crittenton locker room gun incident.

With a grand jury convening to explore the episode, Saunders said Monday after practice that he had not received any subpoena nor had any of his players. While Arenas opened up to investigators on Monday, Crittenton took the back exit from the team’s practice court at Verizon Center, avoiding the media for the second day in a row.

Crittenton’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said his client did not speak with the U.S. Attorney’s office and is not scheduled to do so.

Reserve guard Mike James did take up the defense of Arenas in front of reporters, adding to a series of posts he made via Twitter on Sunday night.

"I’m in his corner until whatever happens," said James. "That’s my teammate, that’s my brother here."


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