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Know The Prospect: Jared Butler

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Jared Butler played a huge role in Baylor winning the 2021 National Championship and led the Big 12 in steals per game during the 2020-21 season.

Houston v Baylor Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Knicks are seemingly always in need of a good point guard, so it would make sense for them to target a PG with one of their two first-round picks in the 2021 NBA Draft. If they go the PG route, they could look at a prospect who made an impact on both ends of the floor and had an impact in winning games at the collegiate level. One player that should be on the Knicks’ radar is Jared Butler.

Butler, 6’3” and 190 pounds with a 6’4” wingspan, spent three seasons at Baylor and played a role in the program’s first National Championship last season. Some mock drafts have him being selected in the middle of the first round. The 20-year-old guard was the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (2021), consensus first-team All-American (2021), Big 12 All-Defensive Team (2021), and two-time first-team All-Big 12 (2020, 2021). Butler averaged 16.7 points, 4.8 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game on 41.6 percent shooting from deep during the 2020-21 season.

Jared Butler was a solid player on both ends of the floor at Baylor. He showed continued growth in three collegiate seasons and saw his draft stock go up following Baylor’s NCAA title run. Butler does have skills that will translate to the NBA and could have a role at the next level as a combo guard who can make contribution on both sides of the ball on a team’s second unit.

Butler is a high-IQ player who is an average to above-average athlete. He is a skilled point guard who can run the offense and made an impact in many ways. The former Baylor guard is an excellent finisher (can finish with either hand) and can get to the rim with crafty moves. He is a gifted scorer who can create own shot and can shoot off dribble. Butler puts opposing defenses on their feet with his shooting and has a high release point with jump shot. He has an elite handle to break down defenses and create space for jumpers.

Butler made an improvement with his perimeter shot, which made him more of a threat on offense. He shot 35.1 percent as a freshman and saw that number increase to 41.6 percent as a junior on 6.2 attempts per game.

While his assist numbers (4.8) don’t pop off the screen since he split time as the primary ball handler, Butler made strides as playmaker in junior season. He possesses great vision, superb passing skills, and showed the ability to make the right decision.

Jared Butler showed to be a solid positional defender and very good team defender. He has quick feet, which allows him to stay in front of guards, and possesses great awareness and energy. The 6’3” guard does good job at pressuring the ball handler without fouling and has good instincts to jump into passing lanes. Butler has the ability to force turnovers and has quick active hands. He led the Big 12 in steals per game (2.0) during the 2020-21 season. Not only does he communicate well on the defensive end, but he is a tenacious defender and solid off-ball defender.

Butler does have parts of his game that needs to work on, as he starts his professional career. While he brings a lot to the table on the offensive end, the former Baylor guard relies too much on isolation and dribble pull-up shots. He may need to add weight to handle the physicality of the NBA. At his size, Butler may struggle driving to rim against taller and faster defenders. He doesn’t have elite size and athleticism. His assists to turnover ratio (4.8-to-2.8) didn’t look good last season.

Jared Butler has questions about his game. While he did show great vision in college, can his playmaking carry to the NBA? Where is his fit at the next level? He doesn’t have size to play the two and may not fit as the team’s primary ball handler.

Jared Butler brings a lot to the table on both ends of the floor. He showed he could make an impact with his finishing at the rim and made improvements to his game in his three seasons at Baylor. The 6’3” guard was a solid defender and could bring a lot to an NBA team next season.