NBA trade rumors: Clippers turned down Trevor Ariza/Caron Butler swap at last minute

Harry How

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling shot down a deal that had the Washington Wizards sending wing defender Trevor Ariza to Hollywood in exchange for Caron Butler.

The Clippers and Wizards had a trade in place that would have swapped Los Angeles' Caron Butler and Washington's Trevor Ariza, but Clippers owner Donald Sterling decided to nix the trade on the morning of last Thursday's NBA trade deadline, according to NBA.com's David Aldridge.

Reportedly, the Clippers wanted a defensive-oriented wing who could be used to defend players such as the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant. Ariza, who is averaging 8.4 points and 1.5 steals per game this season, fits that bill and grew into his niche as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

On the other side of the trade, Washington was willing to bring back Butler, who played for the Wizards from 2005-2010. The 10.3-point-per-game scorer would have been an offensive upgrade, and sources told Aldridge that Butler would be willing to return. He has a home in the Washington D.C. area.

The trade never happened.

For more, visit Wizards blog Bullets Forever

There's a good chance Sterling didn't want to shake up the roster that has a 40-18 record and is third in the Western Conference standings. That, or as Aldridge guesses, Sterling feared that point guard Chris Paul would look as any move made as the reason for the potential for a failed postseason.

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