Caron Butler, who missed the second half of the Dallas Mavericks' championship season after a New Year's injury, has drawn early free agent interest from six teams including the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat, reports CBS Sports' Ken Berger.
In addition to the Bulls and Heat, the New Jersey Nets, L.A. Clippers, San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks have expressed interest, Berger says. Butler, a scoring small forward whose defense has traditionally been respected but far from elite, will turn 32 before the playoffs. He made $10.5 million last season.
The Mavericks have a high payroll and a bigger priority in Tyson Chandler, though no one would be surprised to see Dallas make a push to retain Butler; Mark Cuban has never been shy about having a massive payroll, and the more punitive luxury tax rates negotiated into the new collective bargaining agreement don't go into effect until 2013.
Butler was named to the 2007 and 2008 East All-Stars as a member of the Washington Wizards.