Caron Butler Out For Season After Knee Surgery

The Mavericks' forward injured his knee against the Bucks on Saturday, and underwent season-ending surgery on Tuesday.

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Caron Butler's Season-Ending Injury Opens Door For Shawn Marion

Caron Butler will miss the rest of the season after surgery to repair a torn patella tendon Tuesday. While there remains the possibility that the Dallas Mavericks could seek to replace their starting small forward in the trade market, for the forseeable future Shawn Marion will loom large.

Dirk Nowitzki remains out with a knee sprain, and Marion has filled in for him as the team's starting power forward. Once Nowitzki returns, Marion will likely move to small forward, where he started 75 games for Dallas last season.

Yahoo!'s Kelly Dwyer has written about Marion's success at the position.

A few games spent watching the Mavs or a 30-second trip to 82games.com will tell you that Dallas has performed much better with Marion at small forward, and, individually, the veteran has performed much better defensively as a small forward this year. Better offensively, as well.

Marion has backed up both spots this season. The fact that Matrix's minutes at power forward have come without Nowitzki on the floor complicate an assessment of the team's performance; given that Dirk is the team's obvious best player, you'd expect that minutes in which Marion plays with Nowitzki, and thus at small forward, would produce results better than those when Marion is at power forward with any of the Mavs' small forwards next to him. That bears out -- 82games.com shows the Mavs at +51 with Marion at small forward and -64 at power forward.

But Nowitzki's value is primarily on offense, though he's a good defensive rebounder. As such, when you notice that the Mavericks' defense is better with Marion at small forward versus power forward, that's notable. The same was the case last season.

For the time being, Marion is hanging on at power forward while veteran DeShawn Stevenson covers small forward. But as soon as Nowitzki returns, Marion will try to convince the Mavericks they don't need to make a play for Carmelo Anthony, Tayshaun Prince or another name small forward.

For more analysis of Butler's injury, check out Mavs Moneyball.

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Mavericks Won't Receive Disabled Player Exception After Caron Butler's Season-Ending Injury

Caron Butler's season-ending knee surgery will not result in a disabled player exception for the Dallas Mavericks.

Teams who lose players due to a season-ending injury can typically apply for a disabled player exception that allows the team to acquire a player making 50 percent of the injured player's salary via trade or free agency without regard to cap restrictions (except those governing trades). The Portland Trail Blazers (Greg Oden) and Miami Heat (Udonis Haslem) each received disabled player exceptions this season.

But for that to occur, the injury must happen prior to Nov. 30. As Butler wasn't injured until Jan. 1, the Mavericks won't be eligible for the exception, meaning if the team is to replace the forward it will have to be done with the team's existing assests.

Butler makes $10 million this season. He will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, meaning that the Mavericks could trade him as an expiring contract as the February trade deadline approaches. It's unclear whether the Mavericks will be content to try Shawn Marion at small forward (where he played well last season) or if the franchise will look for a star-level replacement. Butler averaged 15 points a game for Mavericks this season. He was acquired in a deal with the Washington Wizards a year ago; that trade also brought Brendan Haywood, now a richly paid back-up center, to Dallas in exchange for Josh Howard.

For more Mavericks news and analysis, join Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.

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Caron Butler Injury: Mavericks' Forward Undergoes Season-Ending Knee Surgery

Caron Butler's injury is indeed bad enough to end his 2010/11 season. Butler underwent surgery on his right knee, and the team has announced that he will not play again this season, according to Art Garcia of NBA.com.

Butler suffered the injury in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. The Mavericks had hoped that the injury was merely a partial tear of his right patella tendon, which would allow Butler to return in two months in time for the NBA Playoffs. However, an MRI revealed that it was a complete tear, which will keep Butler out of action all season.

Butler underwent the surgery today, tweeting this picture of him before the surgery took place. He then sent out this message prior to the surgery.

Championship! Remember that fans that's what its about and we have what it take in that lockeroom to get it done, ill be 100 percent In no time, and I will be the biggest supporter on the sideline until healthy thanks for the support again I'm going in....

With Butler out, Shawn Marion will likely start at small forward long-term. The Mavericks will have to hope that guard Rodrigue Beaubois, returning from his own injury soon, can fill some of the scoring void Butler creates. They could also make a trade.

For Mavericks news and analysis, visit Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.

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Caron Butler Injury: Mavericks' Forward's Season Could Be Over

Caron Butler's season could be over, according to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, as the Maverick forward's knee injury suffered Saturday is reportedly a torn patella tendon. Sefko reports that while the Mavericks have not announced the specific diagnosis or treatment route for Butler, a source has indicated that the veteran forward has at least partially torn his patella tendon.

Butler writhed in pain after coming down on a rebound attempt in the first quarter of the Mavericks' 99-87 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. Butler walked off the court and stayed in Milwaukee with his family overnight. Butler grew up in Wisconsin.

Butler has been a key cog in Dallas' excellent attack this season. Though the Mavericks have lost three straight games, Dallas, 24-8, still sits in the West's No. 2 seed, behind the San Antonio Spurs (29-4) and ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers (23-10). Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks' superstar forward, has missed all three of the Dallas' recent losses due to a sprained knee. He is expected to return to action this week.

For Mavericks news and analysis, visit Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.

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Caron Butler Injury, Deemed 'Potentially Serious,' Adds To Mavericks' Woes

Caron Butler collapses to the floor during the first quarter of the Dallas Mavericks' loss to the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday night after suffering an apparent knee injury. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle told reporters following the game that Butler's injury was "potentially serious." Butler will return to Dallas Sunday for an examination by the team doctor, reports Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News.

Butler joins Dirk Nowitzki (sprained knee), Shawn Marion (thigh) and Rodrigue Beaubois (foot) among the Mavericks' wounded. Nowitzki has been listed as day-to-day since Tusday, but has yet to play since leaving a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Dec. 27. The Mavericks have lost all three games since losing Nowitzki.

Marion, Nowitzki's replacement in the starting line-up, missed Saturday's game, and could also miss Sunday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Butler has been a big part of the Mavericks' run with the elite early this season, scoring 15 points a game on 45 percent shooting and four rebounds. His three-point shooting -- 43 percent on almost three attempts per game -- has been an excellent addition at the small forward position, and has helped take pressure off of Nowitzki. Without Butler, should Tuff Juice miss extended time, the Mavericks would likely turn to Marion at small forward, as was the case before and after Dallas acquired Caron last season.

Marion is just 4-22 from three-point range this season, and has shot 33 percent from long-range on his career. Butler is an unrestricted free agent in 2011.

For more Mavericks news and analysis, join Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.

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