Butler/Prince/Iguodala: By the Numbers

We know from Fearless Leader's earlier post that the Clippers are meeting with Caron Butler for a second time today. I thought it'd be a good time to take a look at Caron's numbers. And, it would be really interesting to look at them against two other small forwards we've talked a lot about, Tayshaun Prince and Andre Iguodala.

Before we start, there are a couple of things that really jumped out at me. First. Caron Butler has missed a lot of games. Of course, he played in only 29 last year, but he misses an average of seventeen games a year over the course of his NBA career. Tayshaun Prince? Andre Iguodala? These guys are both veritable iron men. Between 2004 and 2009, Prince didn't miss a game. Last year at age 30 he started 78. Iggy missed 15 games last year but has five 82 game starts in seven previous years.

I got the stats from Basketball-reference.com and threw out the stuff I didn't care about. Make the jump to see the numbers....

First, career stats:

Per Game

GlossaryCSVPRE
Rk Player From To G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1 Caron Butler 2003 2011 589 556 36.3 6.1 13.9 .441 0.6 1.8 .319 3.7 4.4 .848 1.6 4.3 5.9 2.9 1.6 0.3 2.3 2.7 16.6
2 Andre Iguodala 2005 2011 553 553 38.0 5.5 11.8 .462 0.9 2.7 .323 3.9 5.2 .745 1.1 4.7 5.8 4.8 1.8 0.5 2.4 2.2 15.6
3 Tayshaun Prince 2003 2011 661 622 33.4 5.2 11.1 .464 0.7 1.8 .368 1.9 2.5 .764 1.3 3.4 4.7 2.7 0.6 0.6 1.2 1.4 12.9

Per 36 Minutes

GlossaryCSVPRE
Rk Player From To G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1 Caron Butler 2003 2011 589 556 21365 6.1 13.8 .441 0.6 1.8 .319 3.7 4.4 .848 1.6 4.2 5.9 2.8 1.6 0.3 2.2 2.7 16.4
2 Andre Iguodala 2005 2011 553 553 21006 5.2 11.2 .462 0.8 2.6 .323 3.7 4.9 .745 1.0 4.5 5.5 4.5 1.7 0.5 2.3 2.0 14.8
3 Tayshaun Prince 2003 2011 661 622 22051 5.6 12.0 .464 0.7 1.9 .368 2.1 2.7 .764 1.4 3.6 5.1 2.9 0.6 0.6 1.3 1.5 13.9

Advanced

GlossaryCSVPRE
Rk Player From To G MP PER TS% eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg OWS DWS WS WS/48
1 Caron Butler 2003 2011 589 21365 16.2 .524 .462 5.2 13.9 9.4 13.8 2.4 0.6 12.5 22.7 105 107 21.3 19.3 40.6 0.091
2 Andre Iguodala 2005 2011 553 21006 17.1 .555 .499 3.3 14.7 9.0 20.5 2.4 1.0 14.7 19.8 110 106 29.7 24.2 53.9 0.123
3 Tayshaun Prince 2003 2011 661 22051 15.2 .528 .494 4.6 12.2 8.3 13.8 1.0 1.4 9.0 18.9 111 107 31.2 21.7 52.9 0.115

You know what? These guys all pretty good. Butler scores the most at almost 17 points per game but he's the worst 3-point shooter. Iggy's not a 3pt shooter either, but his TS% is the best at .555. Why? Because Caron tends to shoot a lot of threes, well over a hundred a year, with a career 3pt% of .319. He is, as Steve mentioned, a high usage player, his career usg% is 22.7 compared to 19.8 and 18.9. Speaking of passing, Iguodala is probably the best passing sf in the league with a career 4.8 per game average. Iggy also takes the career PER at 17.1 but they're all better than 15 for their careers.

Individual season comparison below. Okay, I cheated but I tried not to fudge. These are Prince's numbers from last year, a year in which he played 82 games, all for the same team. Iguodala's numbers are from two seasons ago, (he missed 15 games last year). Butler's numbers are older, from the 2008-2009 season. I figured this was fair since that was his last full season with a single club where he played close to a full season (74 games). It was a terrible team (the Wizards, 19 wins) but the guy's moved around a lot.

Per Game

GlossaryCSVPRE
Rk Player Season Age G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1 Caron Butler 2008-09 28 67 67 38.6 7.3 16.2 .453 1.0 3.1 .310 5.1 6.0 .858 1.8 4.4 6.2 4.3 1.6 0.3 3.1 2.5 20.8
2 Andre Iguodala 2009-10 26 82 82 38.9 6.0 13.7 .443 1.1 3.7 .310 3.8 5.2 .733 1.0 5.5 6.5 5.8 1.7 0.7 2.7 1.8 17.1
3 Tayshaun Prince 2010-11 30 78 78 32.8 6.1 12.8 .473 0.4 1.3 .347 1.5 2.2 .702 1.0 3.2 4.2 2.8 0.4 0.5 1.1 1.2 14.1

Per 36 Minutes

GlossaryCSVPRE
Rk Player Season Age G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1 Caron Butler 2008-09 28 67 67 2585 6.8 15.1 .453 0.9 2.9 .310 4.8 5.6 .858 1.6 4.1 5.8 4.0 1.5 0.3 2.9 2.3 19.4
2 Andre Iguodala 2009-10 26 82 82 3192 5.6 12.6 .443 1.1 3.4 .310 3.6 4.8 .733 0.9 5.0 6.0 5.3 1.6 0.6 2.5 1.6 15.8
3 Tayshaun Prince 2010-11 30 78 78 2562 6.6 14.1 .473 0.5 1.4 .347 1.7 2.4 .702 1.1 3.5 4.6 3.0 0.4 0.6 1.2 1.3 15.4

Advanced

GlossaryCSVPRE


Rk

Player Season Age G MP PER TS% eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg OWS DWS WS WS/48
1 Caron Butler 2008-09 28 67 2585 18.8 .552 .482 5.2 13.8 9.4 19.7 2.2 0.6 14.3 25.9 108 113 3.4 1.1 4.5 0.083
2 Andre Iguodala 2009-10 26 82 3192 17.8 .535 .485 3.0 16.8 9.8 23.7 2.3 1.4 14.3 21.8 108 109 4.0 2.8 6.7 0.101
3 Tayshaun Prince 2010-11 30 78 2562 15.1 .511 .490 3.6 12.6 7.9 14.4 0.6 1.3 7.1 21.0 108 115 2.9 0.4 3.3 0.062
Hmm... why doesn't Tayshaun Prince shoot more threes? .347 rate but only 1.3 attempts per game? Iggy and Caron aren't shy but their rate of success is certainly lower. Interesting that all three of them had fairly high usage these years. Caron with a whopping 25. But even Prince was over 20 percent. I'm thinking some of this is the product of all three players playing on bad teams these years. Prince and Iggy's PER's are steady but Butler's is high at 18.8.

Conclusions? If everything else was equal, Andre Iguodala probably wins the stat contest. He seems particularly suited to the Clippers because of his passing ability. But AI will make 13 million next year, and apparently, he isn't available... at least for what the Clippers are willing to give up. Butler or Prince probably come significantly cheaper (Butler was around 10.5 M last year).
All three players have reputations as good defenders and good teammates. Iguodala andd Prince have been on All-NBA defensive teams, and Butler was considered an essential piece of Rick Carlisle's defensive scheme last year.

But the biggest question about Caron Butler is one of health... not only does he have a long history of missed games, he suffered a debilitating knee injury just eleven months ago. While his usage is high, he has a good mid-range game and brings his toughness and good defense everywhere he goes. It's undeniable he'd be the best small forward the Clips have had in years....
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