It’s been well documented Caron Butler was elated to be traded to the Milwaukee Bucks last August.
The Racine native and former Park High School star was thrilled to play for the team he grew up rooting for and, perhaps more importantly, he was in a place close to his family and friends.
Butler still relishes playing for the Bucks, although how long he’ll remain with the team is uncertain. The NBA’s trading deadline is Thursday afternoon and rumors abound that Butler could be dealt.
The Bucks are in a full-fledged rebuilding mode and are committed to playing Khris Middleton, a second-year pro, and rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo. They both play the same position as Butler — small forward.
You can safely assume Butler wouldn’t be a happy camper getting limited minutes the rest of the season and understandably so. He still has plenty in his tank. Suffice to say, he would be a fabulous addition for any playoff-bound team.
Wilson receives invite
Jamil Wilson has a reasonably good chance of being selected in this summer’s NBA draft.
The former Horlick High School and current Marquette University standout is generally projected by NBA scouts as a second-round pick.
But the 6-foot-7 Wilson could enhance his stock with a stellar showing at the upcoming Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, if he so desires. Mahlon Parker, the executive committee chair for the PIT, told me Wilson has been extended an invitation to the tournament, which is exclusively for college seniors. Among the players who have used the PIT as a stepping stone to the NBA are former Marquette players Steve Novak, of the Toronto Raptors, and Wesley Matthews, of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Parker said Wilson’s Marquette teammate, center Davante Gardner, and UW-Green Bay center Alec Brown have also been invited to play in the PIT, which will be held April 16-19 at Portsmouth, Va.
One fewer Brewers fan
Readers of this column are fully aware of where I stand on Milwaukee Brewers’ owner Mark Attanasio’s and Brewers GM Doug Melvin’s decision to retain Ryan Braun, who merely lied, cheated and threw everyone he could under the bus.
Attanasio and Melvin had a golden opportunity to stand up and tell the world that PED offenders like Braun have no place in the Brewers’ organization. But they blew it. To Attanasio and Melvin, it’s all about the almighty dollar and winning games. Morals and ethics be damned.
Which brings us to this letter I recently received from Jim O’Brien of Racine:
“Sorry to see that Ryan Braun is still with the Brewers. I agreed with one of your earlier columns that he should and would be traded before the season began. In the “Forgive and forget” column in the RJT, people seem to forget that he (Braun) only apologized after being caught and that he would still be denying it today had he not been caught. It also tells me something about the character of the Brewers organization, which from what I have read or heard, never had one negative thing to say about his involvement (with PEDs), not from the owner, GM or manager (Ron Roenicke). Braun will get his standing ovation at home on opening day, a pity, from the fans who don’t care whether he took illegal substances or not, as long as he hits 30 homers and bats .300. I don’t go to many games, but will refuse to go to any more games as long as he (Braun) remains with the organization.”
Good for you, Mr. O’Brien. Here’s hoping many others follow your lead.
Priorities in order
Interviewed last week on “Sports Junkies,” Catholic Central High School boys basketball coach Eric Henderson, whose 17-3 Hilltoppers are ranked fourth in the Associated Press Division 5 state poll, told why he left being an assistant coach at Iowa State to come to Burlington five years ago:
“At the end of the day, the No. 1 responsibility for me is being a dad. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing in life; I want to be a quality dad and good husband. That’s where my priorities are at. Not to say you can’t be that whatever you’re doing. But I just think it was going to be a little bit easier for me if I was at a high school. It can be just as rewarding (at a high school as at a college), I can guarantee you that.”
Around the horn
It’s hard to imagine a better prep point guard in the state than Case’s D’Angelo Jackson, who can seemingly get to the basket whenever he desires ... Speaking of Case, Eagles coach Steve Jaskulske has done a terrific job of blending a bunch of talented individuals into a dynamic collective bunch. And just how dynamic are the Eagles? Well, they have scored 71 or more points in their last eight games and 80 or more in their last four ... Kostas Antetokounmpo, the brother of Bucks rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo, has enrolled at Whitefish Bay Dominican. Giannis claims Kostas, a 6-foot-6 swingman, will be a better player than him ... Look for Attanasio to make a pitch to buy the Bucks, once he gets the OK from Braun.
Gery Woelfel is a sports reporter for The Journal Times. Gery can be reached at (262) 631-1713 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org