The 2021 NBA draft will take place Thursday, July 29 with the Detroit Pistons holding the No. 1 pick. The Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic round out the top five selections.
We take a look at some of the prospects available in this draft, gauge their strengths, weaknesses, NBA comparisons and best landing spot within the player’s projected draft range. Here’s a breakdown for Baylor guard Jared Butler.
Butler is a great ball handler and shifts his direction extremely well, leading to a strong offensive profile. He’s an excellent three-point shooter, something that helped him stay involved in Baylor’s offense during the tournament when he generally struggled from the floor. His passing is not amazing, but it’s not a weak point. Butler puts in great effort defensively and generates steals on that side of the ball.
How much of his success was a result of the system and players around him? Butler’s upside might not be high as a result. His size could be an issue as his athleticism declines.
Butler compares well to Kyle Lowry, who has emerged as a valuable contributor after initially struggling in the league. Both are undersized for the position, but have the athleticism to overcome that. Butler may not reach Lowry’s heights, but he has a similar game.
Best Landing Spot
Butler is likely to be available in the mid-late first round, meaning teams like the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets are in play. Depending on what the Rockets do with the No. 2 selection, Butler could be an important part of that rebuild. He’s been part of a program transformation at Baylor and there’s no reason he can’t be part of it in the same state at the professional level.