The 2021 NBA Draft is set to kick off on July 29. LWOS continues its draft profiles with Baylor’s Jared Butler. Butler helped lead Baylor to their first national championship school history. The 6’3 guard withdrew from the 2020 NBA Draft and cashed in on himself after a great, title winning season.
Jared Butler starred at Riverside Academy and was named Player of the Year by The Times-Picayune in high school. He entered the 2020-21 season as the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year and ended his college career winning the Final Four’s MOP Award. Butler’s time at Baylor was well spent. He was a three-year starter, improving in every area statistically each season, and finishing with 16.7 points per game, 4.8 assists per game, 3.3 rebounds per game, and 2.1 steals per game during his junior season. Butler scored a season-high 28 points in a road win over TCU, before topping it the following weekend with 30 points in a home victory over Kansas. Butler also led all scorer’s in the National Championship win over Gonzaga with 22 points.
Signature Game: 30 points, 8 assists, 7/9 3PM vs. Kansas
Jared Butler is one of the best two-way guards in this draft. Standing 6’3 with a 195-pound frame and decent length, he has nice size for a point guard. He’s a dynamic ball handler who led one of the most efficient offenses of all-time last season. Butler is a crafty scorer, who can create his own shot and shoot with precision. He was consistent during his junior season, and he scored points in bunches. He had eight 20-point performances and nine games with four three pointers or more. Butler’s ability to score overshadows his abilities to facilitate and defend. He’s strong as a distributor in the pick and roll, and he had seven games with seven assists or more last season. As effective as Baylor was on the offensive end, they wrecked havoc defensively and it started with Butler and Davion Mitchell in the back court. He was one of the peskiest guards in the nation and he recorded five steals in the round of 64 victory over Hartford.
Butler’s lone weakness may not even be on the court. A pre-existing heart condition may be the reason he falls in the first round. He’s been medically cleared, but it’s something teams will likely monitor. Teams may view Butler as a tweener due to his two-way ability, and at 6’3 and 195 pounds, he’ll need to bulk up a bit to prepare for shooting guards in the NBA. Aside from those, there truly aren’t many weaknesses to Butler’s game. He played with poise and consistency, and his health issues shouldn’t hinder
Butler’s quick strike ability, shooting touch, and his distributing mirror Monte Morris of the Denver Nuggets. His defensive upside is higher, and he’ll be a great addition to someone’s second unit.
2021 NBA Draft Projection
Jared Butler should hear his name called during the bottom half of the first round, likely setting him up as a steal for a contending team.
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