If he falls in the draft, could Jared Butler be the Hawks’ Michael Porter Jr.?

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Prior to a few weeks ago, Jared Butler seemed like a lock to be selected before #20 when the Hawks are slotted to pick. However, a pre-existing heart condition has prevented him from being cleared to participate in any basketball activities by NBA doctors. This isn’t something new, though. Before his three seasons with Baylor, he committed to Alabama in 2018 but was forced to transfer after not being cleared by the medical staff. Regardless, things turned out pretty well for Butler, as his collegiate career culminated in winning the 2021 NCAA National Championship and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Butler is a score-first point guard, which is evident in his career-high 41.6% from beyond the arc. He is capable of nailing threes both on and off-ball and is an incredibly fluid player who seemed to take as many spot-up shots as step-back shots. He converted on over 50% of his spot-up three-point attempts, but his playmaking potential is why I believe he can Trae Young’s backup.

Right now, his role is likely as an off-ball guard, but I believe he can be a primary playmaker. He showed progression each year as a Bear — bettering his handles, improving court vision, and refining his decision making. His career arc of assist totals throughout college is apparent, and he posted a career-high 1.71 assists/turnover ratio this past season.

One of the most desirable assets of Butler as a backup point guard, as opposed to others in this class, is his fire as a defender. He averaged two steals a game, was second on Baylor’s defensive box +/-, and tied for first in defensive win shares. Butler is great one-on-one, evident in his opponent field goal percentage when listed as the primary defender — 34.2%. I believe the rewards outweigh the risks for Butler, who could end being a steal in the draft. His situation reminds me a lot of Michael Porter Jr., who fell in the draft because of health concerns but is now one of the premier up-and-coming players in the Association.

Photo: George Walker/Icon Sportswire



1 thought on “If he falls in the draft, could Jared Butler be the Hawks’ Michael Porter Jr.?”

  1. Pingback: If he falls in the draft, could Jared Butler be the Hawks' Michael Porter Jr.? - TheAtlantaStar

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