Caron Butler was supposed to be the center piece of the trade that sent three Wizards to the Dallas Mavericks midway through last season. He was going to be the defensive stopper at small forward that would allow Dirk Nowitzki to focus on offense and play his game. For the beginning part of this season, he looked like just that.
But Butler suffered a knee injury in early January, and has not been able to play since. He's close, and with each new round the Mavs got to, there was hope that Butler may be able to lace 'em up and contribute. But he just never felt good enough to suit up in the 2011 NBA Playoffs. The Mavericks still performed admirably without Butler, and ended up winning the 2011 NBA Title on Sunday.
That has to sting for Butler. Sure, he'll get a championship ring just like everyone else, but he wasn't able to put his own mark on the series. Next year, the Mavs will be able to add Butler to a Championship rotation. That is a pretty nice luxury to have.