NY Knicks NBA Draft: Jared Butler should be on the radar

Jared Butler, Knicks. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Jared Butler, Knicks. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

The NY Knicks still need a long-term answer at the point guard position. Jared Butler can potentially fix that problem if he’s drafted by New York.

Jared Butler doesn’t catch the eye in terms of athleticism, but when it comes to knowing how to play the game of basketball, the 6’3 guard does very well in that department.

Butler, alongside his teammate and potential lottery pick Davion Mitchell, help lead the Baylor Bears to win their first national championship in the program’s history after having a very dominant run in the NCAA Tournament.

Butler went on to win the Final Four Most Outstanding Player after having two fantastic games against Houston and Gonzaga, knocking down four three-pointers in both games.

Butler put up a stat line of 16.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game while making 2.6 threes last season. That was good enough for him to get selected as a Consensus first-team All-American and a First-team All-Big 12 selection.

NY Knicks: Jared Butler could be an ideal fit in the NBA Draft

While Butler isn’t classed as the traditional pure point guard, his passing ability and high IQ (no pun intended), can slot him at the position when he plays at the next level.

When breaking down Butler’s game, his key strength is shooting. Butler has good form and a fluid release which automatically makes him a perimeter threat. Butler is efficient both as a spot-up and off the dribble shooter. His shooting splits this past season were .471/.416/.780. Butler has shown the ability to extend his three-point range, as it was seen throughout the tournament.

His best game this past season came in the regular season when Butler scored 30 points against Kansas this past January. Butler made 10 fields-goals, 7 of those came from three.

Butler made 77 three-pointers in both of his past 2 seasons at Baylor and didn’t shoot less than 38 percent from behind the arc. His shooting ability will translate to the NBA.

Another strength in Butler’s game is his passing. Butler improved his passing in each of his three seasons at Baylor. From his freshmen to junior year, Butler’s assists would elevate every season (2.7, 3.1, 4.8). Butler finds success in the pick and roll. Defenses have to key in on him because of his shot, which makes it easier for Butler to find the open man.

When working in the pick and roll, Butler would throw a good amount of alley-oop passes during this past season. Butler has a good knack for manipulating the defender and instantly dishing the pass to the roll man. Butler would thrive with his passing in New York, especially with a player like Obi Toppin, who thrives when he sets screens and uses his athleticism to convert around the basket. Mitchell Robinson would also benefit from Butler’s passing.

While he doesn’t have elite athleticism, Butler has all the tools to flourish. The 195-pound guard from Louisiana has a solid frame and is a good on-ball defender, earning a Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection, averaging 2 steals this past season with his energetic play on the defensive end.

While the NY Knicks organization has their eyes set on trying to sign Lonzo Ball in free agency, that isn’t necessarily a promise that they are gonna sign him. Other suitors such as the Chicago Bulls will be interested in signing Ball this offseason.

If the Knicks drafted Butler, they would be drafting a player that can fill the point voids and get the job done. He can play both on and off the ball, can shoot it from the perimeter, drive to the basket, has good court awareness, and competes on defense.

The Knicks should definitely have Butler on the top of their draft radar.

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