MIAMI — The Miami HEAT announced today that former first-round pick Caron Butler is returning to where his NBA career began and will become an assistant coach on Head Coach Erik Spoelstra’s staff. Butler, who has spent the last several seasons working as an NBA television analyst, is the fourth former HEAT player currently on Spoelstra’s staff joining Chris Quinn and former teammates Malik Allen and Anthony Carter. The 14-year NBA veteran whose career included an NBA Championship (2011 with Dallas) and a pair of All-Star appearances (2007 and 2008 with Washington) spent the first two years of his career with Miami.
“Caron has a remarkable personal story and is someone who is universally respected throughout the NBA for his character, dedication and work ethic,” said Spoelstra. “He brings a mental toughness and nearly 20 years of experience in the NBA as a player, broadcaster and media member that will make him a valuable asset to our coaching staff and players. Most importantly, he has Miami HEAT DNA, having started this journey with us, and we are excited to welcome him back home.”
Butler, who was the 10th overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft, appeared in 146 games (134 starts) in his two seasons (2002-04) with the HEAT. He averaged 12.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.45 steals and 33.5 minutes with Miami while shooting 40.2 percent from the floor and 80.2 percent from the foul line. He earned All-Rookie First Team honors following the 2002-03 season after leading the HEAT in points, field goals made and attempted, free throws made and attempted, steals and minutes played.
A four-time NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month, Butler still owns the HEAT rookie records for points scored (1,201), free throws made (309) and minutes played (2,858). He also appeared in 13 postseason games with Miami and averaged 12.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.15 steals and 39.3 minutes while shooting 38.6 percent from the floor and 82.5 percent from the line. Butler was traded by the HEAT to the Lakers on July 14, 2004 along with Brian Grant, Lamar Odom and a first-round pick in the deal that brought Shaquille O’Neal to Miami.
In addition to Miami, Butler’s career included stops in Los Angeles with both the Lakers and Clippers, Washington, Dallas, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Detroit and Sacramento. He appeared in 881 regular season games (732 starts) and finished his career with averages of 14.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.32 steals and 32.2 minutes while shooting 43.4 percent from the floor, 34.8 percent from three-point range and 84.7 percent from the line. He also appeared in 65 postseason contests (49 starts) and averaged 11.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.12 steals and 31.4 minutes while shooting 39.9 percent from the floor, 28.6 percent from three-point range and 83.8 percent from the lone.
The Racine, WI native has served as a Turner Sports NBA analyst since 2018, including being featured on NBA TV’s signature studio show, NBA Game Time, and NBA on TNT’s PlayersOnly franchise. Most recently, he’s hosted the “NBA Together” initiative. He has also worked as a studio analyst for Spectrum SportsNet’s coverage of the Lakers and worked as an occasional game analyst for the Washington Wizards during the 2019-20 season. In addition, Butler hosted a podcast Tuff Juice with Caron Butler and in 2015 wrote an autobiography (Tuff Juice).