At 35 years old, Rasual Butler of the Wizards is averaging 10.6 points on 54% shooting, 52% from three-point range in 20 minutes a game off the bench.
Butler had to win the spot in training camp this year after being cut from the Indiana Pacers at the end of last season.
Two years before that, Butler was cut from the Toronto Raptors after shooting 31% from the field in 34 games. Butler told the Washington Post, “That hurt because it was the first time somebody was like, ‘This is not working.’ It was a terrible feeling and I vowed not to let that happen again.”
Butler spent the remainder of the year playing in the D-League where he won Impact Player of the Year playing against guys 15 years younger than him.
For the next two years Butler was out of the league completely. In that time he worked out non-stop, adding 15 pounds of muscle to bulk up his 6’7″ frame to 225 lb.
It still took some good luck for Butler to make the Wizards. Other wing players like Martell Webster and Bradley Beal had gotten hurt before the season, thus leaving the Wizards in need of extra bodies and shooting.
Since making the Wizards, Butler played well enough to keep getting consistent minutes, even when Beal returned to the lineup. Beal admitted to the Post, “It makes us so much better. It makes that much more of a threat. We have so many shooters and guys that can score the ball.”
Washington is 15-6, 3rd in the Eastern Conference, and if Butler and the team keeps it up, he’ll certainly be one of the favourites for Sixth Man of the Year.
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