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Bucks buy out Butler to set up free agent deal

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Caron Butler, a 12th-year NBA veteran forward on the league-worst Milwaukee Bucks, had his contract bought out by the club on Thursday, setting up a possible move to a title contender.

If unclaimed for his old deal’s terms in 48 hours, Butler would be able to sign with any team, making him a valuable wildcard as clubs try to bolster their line-ups for a run into the playoffs that are only seven weeks away.

Butler, 33, is averaging 11.0 points and 4.6 rebounds a game in 34 appearances for the Bucks, who are a woeful 11-45.

The two-time All-Star frontliner, who helped Dallas win the 2011 NBA crown, has averaged 15.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists over 764 career regular-season games with Miami, Dallas, Washington, Milwaukee, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers.

Among the clubs reportedly interested in Butler are the Oklahoma City Thunder and the two-time reigning NBA champion Miami Heat.

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