New Orleans Hornets To Sign Center Brian Butch

Edge Sports International, a sports management group, is reporting via Twitter that its client, ex-Wisconsin Badger, Brian Butch is joining the Hornets. Butch is 6'11", 240 pounds, and will be 27 years old at the start of the 2011-2012 NBA season. It's unclear at this time whether this is simply a training camp invite or something more.

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Butch had an outstanding year in the NBA D-League in 2009-2010, putting up a defensive rebound rate of 41% and total rebound rate of 20%. In the NBA, centers average 20% and 15% respectively for those two statistics. He was named the 2009-2010 Impact Player of the Year, finished All-2nd team NBDL that year, and after that one season, ranks as the all time D-League career leader in defensive rebound rate.

Butch is originally from Wisconsin, where attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Following his standout year in the D-League, Butch joined the Denver Nuggets' summer league roster where he experienced a dislocated patella in his third game*, causing him to miss the next season.

*I was at this game and was seated approximately five feet from Butch when the injury happened. It's far and away the most gruesome thing I've ever seen at a live sporting event, an injury that took me quite a while to forget, and one I won't describe in too much detail here. But the fact that he gets a second chance with the Hornets is especially gratifying for me on a personal level.

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