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Clippers trade for Hornets' Rasual Butler

They deal a future second-round draft choice for the New Orleans shooting guard.

August 13, 2009|Mark Medina

The Clippers acquired shooting guard Rasual Butler and an undisclosed amount of cash Wednesday in a trade with the New Orleans Hornets for a conditional second-round draft pick in 2016, a deal that Coach and General Manager Mike Dunleavy says gives the Clippers "good depth across the board."

The Hornets are expected to save about $8 million with the trade, including Butler's $3.9-million contract and luxury tax implications. Meanwhile, the Clippers are absorbing his salary, thanks to a $7.3-million trade exception they had after shipping Zach Randolph last month to the Memphis Grizzlies.

"We approached them," Dunleavy said, referring to the Hornets. "We have been aggressively proactive to make deals."

The Clippers' latest trade gives them a 14-man roster, and adds another option at shooting guard and small forward to go with Eric Gordon, Al Thornton, Ricky Davis and Mardy Collins.

Dunleavy plans to play Butler at both positions and says he thinks the seven-year veteran is able to play in both a full-court and half-court set.

The 6-foot-7 Butler averaged 11.2 points in 31.9 minutes in 82 games last season, shooting 43% from the field and 39% from three-point range.

"We think he fits that need we have," Dunleavy said. "He's been able to the shoot the ball from the three-point line and stretch the defense. He'll mix in with the young guys and veterans."

Dunleavy hasn't determined how many minutes he foresees Butler playing.

"It's wide open," he said. "Depends on which guys come in and are ready and in shape. The minutes will take care of themselves."

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mark.medina@latimes.com

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